Since 1999, Kern Community Foundation (“Foundation”) has awarded approximately $9 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.
To date in 2013, the Foundation has elected to direct its limited discretionary funding toward those organizations which have made themselves transparent and accountable by publishing and maintaining individual profiles in the Nonprofit Search.
- Organizations with a complete and current profile by December 31, 2012 were eligible to be randomly selected for an unrestricted grant of $1,000 and virtual site visit. Many of these site visits are now available for viewing on the Foundation’s YouTube channel, Kern Community Foundation Live!
- Organizations with a complete and current profile as of June 30, 2013 will be featured in the inaugural Charity Giving Guide to be published at the holidays in collaboration with The Bakersfield Californian. This includes as a complement to local Giving Day, to be observed Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
- Organizations which previously completed a Nonprofit Search profile, which received grants from the Foundation or its individual donors, or were identified by Foundation staff as candidates, were also offered the opportunity to participate in a Core Capacity Assessment, administered by TCC Group, with the cost borne by the Foundation.
Local sector results generated by the Core Capacity Assessment are expected to inform the Foundation’s grant opportunities moving forward. We invite you to stay tuned for these opportunities following the Foundation’s first Board of Directors meeting in 2014.
Current grant opportunities include the annual grants round opened by The Women’s and Girls’ Fund, a Leadership Initiative of Kern Community Foundation, and the new grants round opened by The Lightspeed Systems Foundation.