Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

Founded in 1942, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, formerly known as the Allen-Bradley Foundation, seeks to support free enterprise and limited government in the Western world. The foundation was originally endowed by the Bradley brothers, who co-founded the Allen-Bradley Company, a manufacturer of factory equipment. It describes itself as dedicated to “strengthening the institutions, principles, and values that nurture and sustain the American Experiment and the West.”

The foundation’s Bradley Project on America’s National Identity is a collaborative effort by the nation’s foremost historians, economists, and political scientists to promote awareness of America’s founding ideals. Its June 2008 report, “E Pluribus Unum,” explored how multiculturalism (when taken to extremes) may endanger American unity.

In January 2009, the Bradley Project published an open letter to President Obama stressing the importance of strengthening national identity based on a foundation of civic education.

One of the Bradley Foundation’s most prolific programs is Encounter Books, an award-winning publisher of scholarly works that advance the study of democracy. Since its inception in 2000, Encounter has published more than 120 titles. It is headed by Roger Kimball, also the co-editor and publisher of The New Criterion.

Bradley Prizes

The Bradley Foundation is best known for awarding the “Bradley Prizes” every year to recognize the contributions of notable figures in the areas of the grantmaker’s funding priorities—including the promotion and defense of liberal democracy, democratic capitalism, and American ideas and institutions at home and abroad. Up to four Bradley Prizes, worth $250,000 each, are awarded annually by the foundation’s Board of Directors.

Nominations of qualified individuals are solicited from a panel of more than 100 leaders in academia, public-policy research, journalism, civic affairs, and the arts. Past recipients include the conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer, the political economist Hernando de Soto, and the war historian Victor Davis Hanson.

Other grantmaking

With more than $502 million in assets, the Bradley Foundation’s grantmaking priorities include improvements to public education (particularly teacher accountability and the expansion of charter schools and gifted programs); economic development; the revitalization of civil society; strengthening the private sector; the defense of freedom; and groups that advance the arts, education, community development, social services (in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin).

The Foundation has granted more than $530 million since 1985 to nonprofit groups that support limited government and a free market that sustains economic, academic, and cultural progress.

Among its most noteworthy recent grants was $3 million to the Charter School Growth Fund in Broomfield, CO; $1.1 million to the American Civil Rights Institute in Sacramento (to support public education about race- and sex-preferential policies and practices in the government); and $200,000 to the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, in Stanford, CA (to support the American Public Education Initiative).