What We Care About


The importance of protecting the environment, with a focus on water quality and conservation, is a cornerstone of the Brico Fund’s grant making. Our environment funding focuses on conservation of the natural environment of Wisconsin, and the safety and welfare for all citizens.

Water Quality and Conservation

Organizations working on the following issues in Wisconsin will be considered for support by the Fund’s environmental funding:

  • Improvement and protection of water quality and quantity  
  • Reduction of disproportional impacts of pollution in disadvantaged communities
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation

Criteria applied to application review include:

  • Potential impact for change and level of innovation
  • Degree of coordination among diverse partners and with other community initiatives
  • Intentionality about messaging to the community and civic engagement with the grassroots OR, if your mission restricts your ability to engage the community, a relationship with other organizations to meet this need.
  • Investment in leadership to achieve the outcomes proposed
  • Metrics of the program, both short and long term, that demonstrate your accomplishments and align with your long-term strategy.

Too frequently,in the applications we receive, we see a lack of coordination around strategies to initiate community involvement to influence policy reforms. Therefore, we prioritize funding requests that align with other efforts beyond their core area of expertise and mission.  We are particularly interested in supporting efforts that actualize innovative ideas and proven strategies to affect public policy, including, but not limited to, community organizing, advocacy and “high impact” litigation with the goal of achieving broad or precedent-setting results. Placing environmental issues in new frames, alliances or strategies that intersect with and animate broader visions and values, such as social and economic justice, or human rights, are of interest to us.

The Brico Fund has adopted the planning framework that Wisconsin Voices (www.wisconsinvoices.org) provides for its Wisconsin partners as part of the application process for all environmental funding requests.* This is done because civic engagement strategies and messaging to the community are strong priorities of the Fund.  Because the Fund is an allied partner and funder of Wisconsin Voices, we want to be transparent in sharing our interest that organizations create stronger intersections and impact in their work.  We value Wisconsin Voices’ approach and want to offer consistent information in our quest to integrate environmental strategies across various constituencies. 

*Note: Environmental impact litigation funding requests are handled separately.

You are also encouraged to contact Wisconsin Voices at 414-226-4289 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to inquire about membership and access to their capacity building services, including plan writing.  Those services are available based on activity of membership and staff availability.

To discuss a project or idea within this interest area, please contact Karen Schapiro, Environment Program Advisor, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).