Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund


To create, enhance and support educational opportunities for children and/or young adults.


In March of 2015, the Westport Weston Family YMCA received a very generous gift from the estate of Ruth T. Bedford. Ms. Bedford, a YMCA trustee emeritus, a philanthropist, and a strong advocate for the YMCA continued the family legacy with her gift. Her grandfather, Edward T. Bedford, established the first Westport YMCA in 1923. In 1944, Edward’s son, Frederick T. Bedford and his wife (Ruth’s parents) provided the funding that made it possible to buy Camp Mahackeno, the YMCA’s summer day camp where the current facility is located. Ms. Bedford was instrumental in helping the YMCA to renovate and expand its original downtown Westport location during the 1980s. Ms. Bedford’s gift will allow the YMCA to be a leader in the community and change lives for the next 100 years.

In 2015, the YMCA Board of Trustees established the Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund (the “Fund”) to give back to the community and carry forward the legacy of Ruth Bedford. The initial endowment of the Fund was $5 million and earnings from this endowment will support one-year grants to one or more local programs, which will be selected through an annual grant process.


The Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund supports organizations that provide direct or supplemental educational opportunities. As a result the Fund supports a wide range of programs.


• 501(c)(3) organization
• Located in and serving one or more of the following communities: Westport, Weston, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Norwalk and Wilton
• Serving children and/or young adults


• Endowment funding
• Indirect/overhead or administrative expenses
• Capital projects
• Reduction of debt or operating loss
• Annual campaign or fundraising


Between June 1 – September 10, 2021
Preliminary Grant Application is due September 10, 2021

Preliminary Applications accepted between June 1 – September 10, 2021, final applications by invitation only.
Preliminary Grant Application due by September 10, 2021. Preliminary applications are only accepted via the form below; this pdf is for your review; as an aid to organizing your application before submitting it using the form below.

October 4, 2021
Preliminary Notification.
Applicant’s organizations will be notified whether or not they have been selected to complete the Final Grant Application.

October 25, 2021
Final Grant Application.
For those Applicants selected to continue to the next step, the full Connecticut Common Grant Application Form and any related information must be submitted to Please combine the application form and related information into one file.


October 26 – November 30, 2021
Review and Site Visits.
The evaluation committee will review all applications and contact Applicants to schedule site visits. The objective of the site visit is to complete the due diligence review and investigate and resolve any final questions.

December 2 – 6, 2021
Final Grant Notification.

December 17, 2021 at 2:00 pm
Final Grant Awards will be presented.

Congratulations to the 2020 Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund Recipients:

  • Achievement First Bridgeport Academy
    Adam J Lewis Academy
    Carver Foundation of Norwalk
    Central CT Coast YMCA
    Cardinal Shehan Center
    Family & Children’s Agency, Inc.
    Future Frogmen, Inc.
    Kid’s Empowered by Your Support- KEYS
    Horizons at Sacred Heart University
    Klein Memorial
    LifeBridge Community Services
    McGivney Community Center
    Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport, Inc
  • Neighborhood Studios
    New Beginning Family Academy
    Norwalk Community College Foundation
    Pequot Library Association
    Project Morry
    Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc.
    Shepherds Mentors
    Silvermine Guild of Artists
    Staples High School Tuition Grants    Committee, Inc.
    Stepping Stones Museum for Children
    Urban Impact of Black Rock, Inc.
    Wakeman Memorial Association

Please contact Anjali McCormick with questions.