Kern Community Foundation offers competitive grant opportunities at different times throughout the year. All grant applications must be submitted on our Online Grant Platform accessible from the “Apply Online” buttons below.


Our “Nonprofit Registration for Foundation Services is your gateway to all grants and services from Kern Community Foundation.

If your agency is a first-time applicant, do the following (BOTH steps are required):

1) Use this link to access our Online Grant Platform. Once there, create an account using your e-mail address and a password. Fill out information about yourself as an applicant, as well as about your agency. When you get to the Applicant Dashboard, click on the hyperlink for “Apply” at the very top of the page next to the home icon. On the application choices page, choose “Nonprofit Registration for Foundation Services.” Fill out the online registration form and submit.

2) Visit to confirm your nonprofit’s Transparency Rating using your agency’s name or EIN (Tax ID) number. Acceptable ratings for agencies registering with Kern Community Foundation are Silver, Gold and Platinum only. If your agency profile page on doesn’t have a rating, or has only a Bronze rating, you must upgrade your rating to a minimum Silver level for your registration with the Foundation to be approved.

The Support option in the menu at the top of the GuideStar home page has easy-to-use tools to guide you from claiming your agency’s profile to building it up through the transparency levels: from Bronze to Silver to Gold to Platinum. Remember, Kern Community Foundation only requires a minimum Silver level.

After your finish your registration, you can then proceed to apply for any of our available grant opportunities below.


Be sure to keep your GuideStar rating from dipping below Silver or lapsing altogether. At a minimum, a Silver rating is required for your agency to continue to receive our free services or be considered for grants offered through the Foundation. Make it a habit to check your agency’s transparency rating on at least once a quarter, and upgrade it as needed

‘Strength is Visibility’ Campaign – A partnership between the Kern Alliance of Nonprofits and KGET-TV 17/Telemundo.

Thanks to a partnership between the Kern Alliance of Nonprofits (KAN) and KGET-TV 17/Telemundo, agencies registered with Kern Community Foundation have an opportunity to apply to be highlighted on the morning and evening television news, thereby becoming better known in the community and possibly gaining supporters and volunteers in the process. This competitive opportunity truly is nonprofit strengthening through visibility. All Kern County nonprofits that are registered with Kern Community Foundation and have a Silver or higher rating on are welcome to apply via the Foundation’s Online Grants Platform.

Apply Online

2020 Waterman Foundation Rotary Club of Bakersfield Capital Grant Program

Established by the Bakersfield Downtown Rotary Club in 1984, the Waterman Foundation provides grants for capital projects supporting local nonprofit organizations.

For the 2019-2020 Capital Grant Program, the Foundation will award a total of $30,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations. Grants will be awarded only for capital projects (i.e., improvements to buildings or land, purchases of equipment, or upgrades to facilities) and not for such items as operating expenses. The application must be sponsored by a member of the Bakersfield Downtown Rotary Club. Applicants are required to provide the Club member’s name and contact information in the application. The application period is January 10 through February 27, and grants will be awarded no later than May 31, 2020.

Apply Online

Philanthropy on Tap “Visibility Grant”

(Application period currently closed.)

Philanthropy on Tap is a competitive “Visibility Grant” that Kern Community Foundation offers to Kern County nonprofits in partnership with the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. The next application period will be in the summer of 2020.

Selected nonprofits are given an opportunity to showcase their programs, leadership and needs to local business leaders and other members of the community in an informal setting over free drinks and hors d’oeuvres during a fun networking event hosted by Kern Community Foundation. Philanthropy on Tap raises the visibility of nonprofits, exposing them to potential donors, volunteers and advocates. It is part of Kern Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Strengthening Initiative and helps to fulfill the Foundation’s Mission: “Growing Community. Growing Philanthropy.”

To learn more about Philanthropy on Tap with a view toward possibly applying for this visibility grant, feel free to join us at one of our 2020 events. Click here to download a flyer with this year’s schedule. Events are FREE.

(Please check back in August 2020 for the Philanthropy on Tap visibility grant opportunity for 2021.)

Jumpstart Fundraising Technical Assistance Grant

(Application period currently closed.)

Jumpstart is a Fundraising Technical Assistance Competitive Grant Opportunity offered to Kern County nonprofits. It is a partnership among Kern Community Foundation, Network for Good and the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Through Jumpstart, Five Kern nonprofits, one from each County Supervisorial District, receive state-of-the-art fundraising tools and coaching for an entire year at a greatly reduced tuition cost. Via this unique private-public partnership, we, as a community, are working to improve nonprofit sustainability one agency at a time.

Click here to access a Slide Presentation about Jumpstart, including a description of the program, applicant qualifying criteria, and time/monetary investment expectations of potential grantees.

(Check back in the fall of 2020 for the Jumpstart grant opportunity for 2021.)

Women’s and Girls’ Fund

Focus for 2016-2020 grants – Education

The Women’s and Girls’ Fund prioritizes requests designed to increase passion and enthusiasm for learning while addressing issues pertaining to Educational Attainment. For more information, visit their Community Initiative Page here.

Apply Online

Upper Kern Fisheries Enhancement Fund

A grantmaking initiative that supports conservation projects in the Upper Kern River Basin. The Upper Kern Fisheries Enhancement Fund was established in 2005 as a requirement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s re-licensing of Southern California Edison’s Kern River Number 3 Hydroelectric Project. For more information, visit their Community Initiative Page here.

Apply Online

Kern River Valley Community Fund

A regional initiative of Kern Community Foundation, the specific purpose of this permanently endowed fund is to receive philanthropic contributions and to distribute grants to provide solutions and build social, economic and environmental prosperity in one of the most scenic yet underserved areas of Kern County. For more information, visit their Community Initiative Page here.

Apply Online


Kern Community Foundation