Investing in Our Community

Click here to view our upcoming grant deadlines.

Kern Community Foundation's grantmaking programs are designed to provide general support, primarily through grants from donor advised funds, and targeted support through competitive grants.  We seek to generate real return from our charitable investments by awarding grants that build the capacity of local nonprofit organizations to improve their operational effectiveness and move toward greater sustainability.

Since 1999, Kern Community Foundation (ďFoundationĒ) has awarded approximately $10 million in competitive grants, distributions from endowments, and grants from donor advised funds.  

In recent years, the Foundation has been able to focus its competitive grantmaking by awarding grants to build the capacity of local nonprofit organizations, including with the support of The James Irvine Foundation and The California Wellness Foundation.

The Foundation's most recent efforts have been helped by its Nonprofit Search, an online tool that allows local charities to create profiles featuring their financials, leadership, management, and programs, all in a user friendly database, powered by GuideStar.  The database is available to local donors to find, learn about and give to the causes they care about.

In 2013, the Foundation elected to direct its limited discretionary funding toward those organizations which made themselves transparent and accountable by publishing and maintaining individual profiles in the Nonprofit Search. By maintaining a complete and current profile in the Nonprofit Search, organizations:

  • were selected and featured on the Foundationís YouTube channel, Kern Community Foundation Live!;
  • included in the inaugural Charity Giving Guide, which was published in collaboration with The Bakersfield Californian and distributed to over 30,000 households; and
  • offered the opportunity to participate in a Core Capacity Assessment Tool, administered by TCC Group, with the cost borne by the Foundation.

Local sector results generated by the Core Capacity Assessment Tool are expected to inform the Foundationís grant opportunities moving forward. We invite you to stay tuned for related opportunities following the Foundationís 2014 April Board of Directors meeting. 

Pending the April meeting, current grant opportunities include a virtual site visit featured on the Foundationís YouTube channel and the opportunity to present to community members during one of four Philanthropy on Tap events hosted by Imbibe Wine Merchants. Annual grant opportunities include competitive funding from The Womenís and Girlsí Fund, a Leadership Initiative of Kern Community Foundation, and The Lightspeed Systems Foundation. Visit each of these Fundsí pages for more details and information about when and how to apply.