Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation History

FIU Ratcliffe Foundation presentationPhil and Carole Ratcliffe created the foundation in 2003 with a vision to provide access to education & training for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow their ventures, create jobs, and expand economic opportunities in local communities.


Phil Ratcliffe with second year scholarsTheir first grant was to Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) in August of 2003.  The grant pledge for one million dollars over ten years was the largest individual donation in the college’s history.   This grant supported scholarships for students at AACC studying in a wide variety of majors.  What they all had in common was a desire to own a business.  This program continues with approximately fifty students per year learning about entrepreneurship and business management.


During the early years, Phil would frequently visit with students to learn about their business ventures and to share his expertise.  He was smart, hardworking, kind, generous, thoughtful, and witty.    He had fun getting to know the students, and they thoroughly enjoyed spending time learning from him.


Phil Ratcliffe talkingCarole was engaged in the work of the foundation from the beginning. After Phil passed, she became more visible and active.  Like Phil, she was generous with her time and knowledge and enjoyed everything from participating in class projects to visiting student business owners working in incubator space on various college campuses.  She also opened her home and hosted picnics for students and faculty from many of the programs supported by the foundation.


Carole Ratcliffe speaking to studentAACC would be the first of many programs the foundation would come to support including colleges and universities in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia.


Phil and Carole were passionate about supporting people in all walks of life ranging from artists to watermen.  Their entrepreneurial background guided the framework and culture at the foundation.  The foundation leaders remain interested in learning about new and innovative programs leading to business success, small business ownership, and entrepreneurship.


Carole Ratcliffe speaking at eventThe Ratcliffe’s legacy and positive impact will live on through the many individuals who have achieved their goals and dreams with support from programs funded by their foundation.


Carole and Phil were the epitome of a servant leaders – they brought out the best in others.  They were kind, curious, and incredibly supportive.  They will be remembered as incredible philanthropists, businesspeople, and champions for entrepreneurs.   We hope that you are inspired by their wisdom and generosity to work hard, have fun, give back and make the World a better place.