Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund

Click Here to fill out the Preliminary grant – Due September 10, 2018


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.

Congratulations to the 2017 Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund Recipients:

  • Adam J. Lewis Preschool
    Cardinal Shehan Center
    Carver Foundation of Norwalk
    Central Connecticut Coast YMCA
    Connecticut Yankee Council – Boy Scouts
    Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport – Janus Center
    Family &Children’s Agency, Inc.
    Hall Neighborhood House
    Horizons at Greens Farms Academy
    Kids Empowered by Your Support

  • Klein Memorial Auditorium Foundation
    Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport, Inc.
    Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County
    New Beginning Family Academy
    Norwalk Housing Corporation
    Project Morry
    Staples Tuition Grants
    Urban Impact of Blackrock
    Westport Arts Center



The purpose of the Fund is to provide grants to organizations that enhance educational opportunities in a transformational way and, as a result, may include 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 25 – September 10, 2018
Preliminary Grant Application accepted. Applications are closed for 2017. Click Here to fill out the Preliminary grant

October 1, 2018
Preliminary Notification.
Applicant’s organizations will be notified whether or not they have been selected to complete the Final Grant Application.

October 22, 2018
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 23 – November 30, 2018
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 3 – 5, 2018
Final Grant Notification.

December 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Final Grant Awards will be presented.