State Policy Network

Bradley Foundation Expands Investment in State Solutions with Bradley Freedom Grants Program

The 64 independent think tanks that State Policy Network serves across the country prove daily that the most effective solutions to our country’s challenges come from local leaders, not politicians in Washington, DC. Whether it’s improving educational options, fixing state budgets, or creating job opportunities, state think tanks are fighting to protect citizens and communities. 

That is why The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation partnered with SPN last year to implement the Bradley Freedom Grants program.  The program builds on the Foundation’s long-time support for state-based policy organizations in Wisconsin and other states.  With SPN’s help in 2019, the Foundation extended its investment in permanent freedom infrastructure in the states with grants totaling more than $900,000.  The Foundation’s Board of Directors has approved up to $1.25 million for the program in 2020.

Lynde and Harry Bradley, entrepreneurs who created a remarkably successful company in Milwaukee, WI, believed in the richness of community and culture afforded by a free society. For decades, The Bradley Foundation has supported thousands of organizations that promote and defend the ideas and institutions of freedom and free enterprise.

Administratively, the Bradley Freedom Grants program borrows from SPN’s successful Searle Freedom Trust RFP program, which has invested over $5 million in 46 organizations over the past 12 years.  Searle’s support for the state think tank network has expanded far beyond the RFP program and improved the lives of Americans in all 50 states.

Like the Searle program, SPN administers the Bradley Freedom Grants RFP process, while The Bradley Foundation’s Board of Directors makes all final grant decisions.

We are thrilled to partner with the Foundation in this new initiative.

The 2020 Bradley Freedom Grant RFP was issued earlier this month.

Congratulations to 2019’s think tank recipients:

  • Alaska Policy Forum – to advance reforms that address some of the most fundamental health care, labor and welfare challenges Alaskans face.
  • Beacon Center of Tennessee – to build an infrastructure and execute a successful strategy to fight back against harmful local government policies and pursue local reforms that protect economic liberty and property rights.
  • Cardinal Institute – to expand efforts to advance charter schooling and school choice reforms in West Virginia, building upon 2019 victories.
  • Center of the American Experiment – to educate young audiences about the power of free enterprise and government accountability.
  • Georgia Center for Opportunity – to develop tools and materials on the impact of “welfare cliffs” that make the case for comprehensive welfare reform that brings people out of poverty into meaningful employment. 
  • Kansas Policy Institute – to strengthen litigation capabilities to protect and uphold freedom in Kansas. 
  • Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs – to build the “Generation Project” to educate young adults on conservative ideas, build out the organization’s journalism efforts, and advance school choice reforms.
  • Pelican Institute – to create strong capabilities in research, investigative journalism, advocacy, talent development, and litigation that can effectively address longstanding economic challenges in Louisiana.
  • Pioneer Institute – to seize opportunities to improve education options for children in the wake of the Espinoza v. Montana Supreme Court decision.
  • Platte Institute – to work with other state think tanks to reform occupational rules, using the Nebraska experience.
  • Washington Policy Center – to engage the next generation of free-market leaders through WPC’s Young Professionals group.
  • Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty – to establish a Visiting Fellows Program to strengthen WILL’s policy and legal expertise.