Steadfastly adhering to the principles and examples of its namesakes, Lynde and Harry Bradley, The Bradley Foundation envisions a nation invigorated by the principles and institutions that uphold our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The program's priority giving areas and funding decisions of The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation are the responsibility of its Board of Directors. The Foundation’s grantmaking policies and priorities may be modified at the Board’s discretion.
The Bradley Foundation recognizes that its mission can only be realized through the hard work and dedication of its grantees, whether in its home city of Milwaukee or around the country. It is the Foundation’s job to find, assist, and nurture those grantees—and, at times, get out of their way. In line with its mission and guiding principles, the Bradley Foundation has identified four priority giving areas: Constitutional Order; Free Markets; Civil Society; Informed Citizens.
Within each of these giving areas, a comprehensive strategy will be identified and pursued to advance the Foundation’s principles from ideas to implementation. In keeping with the Foundation’s historical practice, a significant portion of its grantmaking in each giving area—and approximately 30% of the Foundation’s overall unrestricted giving each year—will be directed toward organizations in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
Additionally, a significant percentage of its grants in each giving area will be allocated toward higher-risk, entrepreneurial giving - “venture capital” investments in new ideas, organizations, and leaders who are tackling the Foundation’s priority issues in innovative ways that show high potential for significant impact.
Constitutional Order: To promote fidelity to the Constitution, The Bradley Foundation supports organizations and projects that advance federalism and limit government at the national, state, and local levels. The Foundation recognizes the threat to self-government that results when decision-making is delegated to the administrative state. Finally, the Foundation recognizes the increasing threats to our rights enshrined in the First Amendment and therefore supports organizations and projects that protect free speech; restore election integrity; promote citizen political engagement; uphold the rule of law and Constitutional order; and defend the free exercise of religious freedom.
Free Markets: To advance free markets, The Bradley Foundation supports organizations and projects that reduce the size and power of public sector unions; advance free trade within the rule of law; and support deregulation of markets.
Civil Society: To defend, and reinvigorate institutions of civil society, The Bradley Foundation supports organizations and projects that strengthen families; encourage self-reliance; promote civil discourse; rely on voluntary institutions outside of government to address community and individual needs; and advance arts and culture in the Milwaukee area.
Informed Citizens: To encourage the formation of informed and capable citizens, The Bradley Foundation supports organizations and projects that reform and re-imagine systems and institutions of higher education; further outstanding research, teaching, and scholarship; advance alternatives to the K–12 public education monopolies; promote the teaching of American exceptionalism; encourage vocational training and other alternatives to university-based education; and support education for gifted students.