The Bradley Foundation recognizes that the principles and institutions that characterize American exceptionalism were hard won and can be easily lost. The Foundation is therefore dedicated to a vigorous defense of these foundations of a free society.
Lynde and Harry Bradley believed not just in freedom, but also in the richness of community and culture that
The core principles which inform the Foundation’s grantmaking include:
The Bradley Foundation believes that the political system envisioned by America’s founders is unique, extraordinary, and must be preserved “to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” and to give American citizens room to solve problems effectively on their own. The Foundation stands firmly opposed to forces that would wrest control from individual citizens and instead vest authority in government, especially the national government. The Foundation also seeks to promote understanding of and respect for America’s democratic system and republican institutions, to support federalism, to uphold the rule of law, to protect the nation’s legal system from efforts to circumvent the Constitutional order, to protect the electoral process, to defend the rights of all individuals to political engagement in accordance with the rule of law, and to protect the basic liberties outlined in the Bill of Rights, including the freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
The Bradley Foundation believes that such an economic system recognizes the dignity and gives room for the initiative inherent in all men and women. It further believes that such a system is most likely to result in a prosperous economy that improves the prospects for a good life for all citizens. The Bradley brothers owed much of their success to a free enterprise system, and the Foundation works to ensure that this opportunity is available to future generations. The Foundation thus combats efforts to undermine economic freedom and supports organizations and projects that conduct research and educate the public and policymakers about the conditions necessary for economic growth and prosperity.
America has thrived because of the exceptional strength and vitality of its traditional, local institutions—families, schools, churches, neighborhoods, voluntary associations, and arts and cultural institutions—which cultivate individual character, strengthen community bonds, and encourage genuine citizenship. The Bradley Foundation believes that these are the institutions most able and likely to guide behaviors, transform lives, and support a free society that is culturally vibrant and intellectually vigorous.
The Bradley Foundation recognizes that our liberties are secure and will endure only insofar as Americans value and uphold the principles and institutions of American exceptionalism. Therefore, the Foundation supports educational efforts to give citizens the character, habits, and knowledge needed to succeed in a free society and the Foundation works to educate citizens as to the principles, restraint, and institutions that are the basis for such freedoms.