Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund


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

Between June 1 – September 14, 2020
Preliminary Grant Application accepted. Click Here to fill out the application.


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.

Congratulations to the 2019 Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund Recipients:

  • A Better Chance of Westport
    Achievement First Bridgeport Academy
    Adam J Lewis Academy
    Carver Foundation of Norwalk
    Central CT Coast YMCA
    Connect-Us, Inc.
    Family & Children’s Agency, Inc.
    Hall Neighborhood House
    Horizons Greens Farm Academy
    Horizons at Sacred Heart University
  • Human Services Council, Inc.
    Kids Empowered by Your Support
    LifeBridge Community Services
    McGivney Community Center
  • Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport, Inc.
    Neighborhood Studios
    New Beginning Family Academy
    Norwalk Grassroots Tennis & Education
    Norwalk Housing Foundation
    Project Morry
    Riverbrook Regional YMCA
    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



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 14, 2020
Preliminary Grant Application accepted. Click Here to fill out the application.

October 5, 2020
Preliminary Notification.
Applicant’s organizations will be notified whether or not they have been selected to complete the Final Grant Application.

October 26, 2020
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.

October 27 – November 30, 2020
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 – 4, 2020
Final Grant Notification.

December 18, 2020 at 2:00 pm
Final Grant Awards will be presented.