Through strategic philanthropy, the vision of The Brico Fund is to create effective, innovative systemic change that results in changed attitudes, behaviors and policies.
Systemic change is transformation that occurs within an organization, a network of partners, an interest group, and a community and/or at the policy level that addresses the root causes of problems. Systemic change tends to be against the status quo and often requires risk taking, and a willingness to challenge rules and old ideas.
Guided by the values of interdependence, fairness, and equality, The Brico Fund aims to secure full participation in society for women and girls, to sustain our natural environment and to promote a just and equitable society, and to support the cultural and community organizations that enhance the quality of life in Milwaukee.
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.