Who We Are

Brico Fund Leadership:
Executive Director
Brico Fund Advisors


Brico Fund seeks a Wisconsin in which the full citizenry is engaged and involved in their communities, strengthening the human and natural environments for future generations.

Brico Fund’s investments are guided by these overlapping core beliefs:

  1. Democracy works best when issues are prioritized by communities, building engagement, strength, and change.
  2. Action driven by an informed community, rather than by the leadership of organizations, creates a ripple effect that engages ever wider circles of citizens into a movement.
  3. Citizen engagement shapes the most effective community efforts.
  4. Cultivating and growing leaders across communities and issues results in sustainable change.
  5. Organizations or efforts that are aspirational and that draw on strengths are best positioned to multiply their impact for the common good.
  6. Change and progress happen at the same time, although they may not happen at the same pace.
  7. Alignment across issues and organizations creates integration that results in greater collective impact.
  8. Civil rights and civil responsibilities are at the core of our democracy.


Through dynamic approaches, Brico Fund builds the collective capacity of people and organizations to actively and sustainably improve the civic, cultural and natural environments.

Geographic Focus: Most of our grants support organizations in Wisconsin, with a majority of our resources spent locally in Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin. Brico Fund considers requests from national organizations or place-based organizations in different locales only if the funding request relates strategically to priorities in southeast Wisconsin.

Meanings Behind Boots and Brico

Brico is short for Bricolage, a French word meaning “do it yourself.” A Bricolage is also a type of fairy tale in which the hero doesn’t always know what the outcome of his/her actions will be, but nevertheless chooses to move forward. A classic Bricolage is the story of Puss in Boots, where Puss parlays a situation he finds himself in to reach a goal.

“Dear me ... of what use is a cat? If you will give me a pair of boots, I will soon show you”

The story of Puss ‘n Boots is a good analogy of the evolution of Lynde B. Uihlein’s work as a philanthropist. With the creation of The Brico Fund in 1989, Ms. Uihlein had specific and immediate goals in mind and chose to move ahead, not knowing what the long-term outcomes would be. Like Puss, The Brico Fund uses tools it has available to advance its mission, to take risks and to not fear failure.