Ratcliffe Foundation Grant Guidelines 2022

Introduction

The Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation, Inc. (Ratcliffe Foundation) supports academic institutions and other non-profit organizations who are working to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, and workers. We are particularly interested in innovative projects to serve communities in areas such as small business, entrepreneurship, skilled trades, arts, and aquaculture. We believe that partnerships with local stakeholders including businesses, elected officials and community leaders are essential to long-term sustainable growth. In addition, we value entrepreneurial thinking and collaboration. We hold ourselves to a high standard and seek to partner with organizations committed to excellence and positively impacting their community. We encourage you to visit our website: www.ratcliffefoundation.com to learn more about our active program partners.

How to Apply

Submit your proposal by January 31, 2022, to:

The Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation attention David Thompson via email: DLThompson@RatcliffeFoundation.com

Requirements

The Ratcliffe Foundation only awards grants to U.S.-based non-profit organizations, community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities. With a commitment to public health and community vitality, we are also encouraging each program to follow federal government guidelines including Covid-19 vaccination mandates and/or rigorous testing protocols for all program participants, faculty, and staff. We are interested in funding projects that support job creation through entrepreneurship, hands-on training, internships, and apprenticeships. In addition, programs must be designed to support local and/or regional economies with participants residing, working, planning to work, or planning to launch their new venture within the local/regional community.

Grant Proposals Should Include:

  1. Program overview: describe the new initiative in detail including an overview of the gap or problem being solved and assumptions made in preparing to launch. Explain what currently exists in this area, who are the other stakeholders, why your organization is best suited to lead, why now is the best time to implement, and your vision for the project. Describe who will be served, including the total number, and explain how the initiative will have a positive economic impact on the local community.
  2. Milestones and timeline for implementation: outline two or three SMART goals and anticipated outcomes. Provide a high-level project plan with deliverables, due dates, and responsible person(s).
  3. Funding request and budget: provide a detailed three-year budget including institutional matching commitment, other financial support, and all resources required to successfully launch & sustain the program. It is essential that you help reviewers understand how you intend to spend grant funds to achieve the objectives of your proposal. Budgeted items should align with the story you are telling in your narrative and should be as specific and detailed as possible. Institutional overhead will not be covered by the grant.
  4. The team: names, titles, project responsibilities, and brief background including expertise.
  5. Public relations and marketing: describe plans to recruit, engage, support, and stay connected with participants.
  6. Assessment plan: outline the specific elements for measuring your SMART goals including desired outcomes, measures of success, metrics, and key indicators.
  7. Reporting: provide your plan for gathering & analyzing data to evaluate project goals/outcomes including when, what, who, and how. Include quantitative and qualitative measures for various stakeholder groups such as the organization, program participants, community at large, and other anticipated beneficiaries. See reporting requirement in the next section.
  8. Sustainability: describe how, through this new grant, your organization will initiate and sustain broader community and/or institutional change. Describe how you will leverage this grant for future growth. Discuss the formation of diverse, interdisciplinary, and collaborative teams, plans for continuation, and financial sustainability after Ratcliffe Foundation funding.
  9. Organizational background: provide information about your institution such as history, mission, unique attributes, and experience with entrepreneurial activity. Also provide facts and figures including the number of employees, number of people served annually, how you are funded, geographic service area, and other supporting data relevant to the project.
  10. Executive leadership commitment letter including how they will personally support and be involved with the project.

Proposal Format

Proposals must have a cover page and executive summary. The proposal should be concise, specific, and persuasive as this is a competitive process. All components should be consolidated into one PDF file for submission. Use 12 point font, one-inch margins, and Times New Roman or Arial Font. The cover page must include the name, title, phone number, and email address of the project leader.

Grant Review Process

All proposals will be reviewed during the first quarter and all applicants will be notified via email in early April 2022. For funded proposals, we require a written agreement to be prepared, signed by the appropriate executives, and submitted to the Ratcliffe Foundation for signature prior to any funds being disbursed.

Reporting and Sharing

If you receive a grant, payment timelines, reporting requirements, and deadlines will be specified in your grant agreement. At a minimum, all grant recipients must submit an annual report that includes both program-related activity and outcomes, along with detailed financials that include how funds were disbursed. Failure to submit reports may jeopardize both pending payments and your institution’s eligibility for future grants.

The Ratcliffe Foundation expects to learn from grantee experiences. The Ratcliffe Foundation requires timely submission of grant reports and may require participation in surveys and interviews after the grant period for impact assessment studies and reports.

Grant recipients are expected to set aside time to share program information, lessons learned, best practices, and outcomes at relevant foundation meetings and/or conferences focused on education, skilled trades, innovation, and/or entrepreneurship

Questions – contact us

If you would like to discuss your idea, or you have questions about the 
requirements or the submission process contact Carlene Cassidy at cmcassidy@RatcliffeFoundation.com or (667) 458-7991