OVERVIEW: The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation supports programs that promote civil society, Constitutional order, free markets, and informed citizens in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and beyond.
FUNDING AREAS: Civil society, Constitutional order, free markets, informed citizens
IP TAKE: Although this funder’s focus areas may seem very nationally-based, Bradley keeps much of its funding close to home in Milwaukee.
PROFILE: Established in 1942, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation was originally known as the Allen-Bradley Foundation and adopted its current name in 1985. The foundation is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lynde Bradley invented the compression rheostat to control electric motor speed. He and his younger brother, Harry, were in business together at the Allen-Bradley Company and believed in the principles of a free society created by an environment of economic and political freedom. The Bradley Foundation aims to further the beliefs of the founders in freedom and richness of community and culture by “supporting the study, defense, and practice of the individual initiative and ordered liberty that lead to prosperity, strong families, and vibrant communities.”
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation’s Constitutional order grants focus on separation of powers, individual liberties, and limited government. Free market grants fund efforts that promote entrepreneurship, private enterprise, and free voluntary exchange. Civil society grants aim to strengthen arts and cultural institutions, schools, churches, neighborhoods, and associations. Grants for informed citizens fund educational efforts that create informed and capable citizens. In recent years, the foundation has given the most for informed citizens causes, followed by civil society efforts. The foundation also supports selected capital needs, venture efforts, and sponsored programs for the Bradley Prizes and Bradley Fellows.
Grants range between about $15,000 and $150,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving in the recent grants section of the funder’s website. Grantmaking largely focuses on Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, the funder also supports causes elsewhere in the U.S. on a more occasional basis. Past local grantees include Above the Clouds, Acts Housing, Skylight Music Theatre, and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County.
This foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry from nonprofits on an ongoing basis. The funder invites select applicants to submit full proposals with additional details. The application process is conducted through an online grants management system. Currently, the board meets four times per year to review applications. Direct general questions to the staff at 414-291-9915 or via online form.
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