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.

COVID-19 Relief Grant Opportunities!

Read about our COVID-19 Relief Grant opportunities below, then access our online grants platform and, on the “Apply” options page, choose Kern County COVID-19 Relief Fund. Questions? Write to or call 661.616.2603.


Kern Community Foundation established the Kern County COVID-19 Relief Fund to help those affected by the impact of the Coronavirus in Kern County. Grants from the fund will address the immediate and longer-term needs of our region’s most vulnerable residents who will be impacted by the Coronavirus. The Foundation will award operating grants on an ongoing basis to nonprofit organizations and public agencies whose operations in support of vulnerable populations, and those affected by the pandemic, have been stressed by the outbreak.

Thanks to a generous gift received in mid-April from Kern Family Health Care, the fund has been recharged so that our grantmaking work can continue.

If you have already submitted an application to the Relief Fund, there is no need to resubmit, even if you have received funding.

If you are a qualified nonprofit serving vulnerable populations with basic needs who are directly impacted by the physical or economic effects of the pandemic, and have not yet submitted an application, please do so at your earliest convenience.

Grant Criteria

Kern Community Foundation will consider grant requests to:

  • Assist nonprofits serving vulnerable populations with basic needs (food, housing, living expenses, transportation costs, etc.) related to job layoffs, unemployment and other hardships caused by the current crisis.
  • Assist nonprofit organizations experiencing staffing and/or volunteer gaps due to quarantines and social distancing
  • Assist nonprofit organizations with financial planning and resilience

Grants are expected to range between $5,000 to $30,000 and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organizations and public agencies are eligible to apply for additional funds as needs arise. Requests will be reviewed and grants awarded as quickly as possible.

Grant Selection Process

Through an expedited, competitive application process, KCF will award operating grants on an ongoing basis to nonprofit organizations and public agencies whose operations in support of vulnerable populations and those affected by the pandemic have been stressed by the outbreak.  We expect the needs generated by this pandemic will exceed available funds. A committee will review grant applications as needed and make recommendations to the President/CEO, taking into account innovative, outside-the-box solutions presented by applicants to help deal with the crisis.

Grant Awards

We expect grants to range in size from $5,000 to $30,000. Organizations may apply for more than one grant during the 2020 calendar year, as this fund is intended to be responsive to the ongoing needs of the community.


  • Grants are open to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and other public agencies serving Kern County residents.

As a community foundation, Kern Community Foundation cannot award grants to businesses and individuals; however, it can and does award grants to nonprofit organizations that provide direct financial assistance and other services to individuals.


  • Activities that are non-secular or promote a religious doctrine
  • Academic or medical research
  • Funding to schools and public agencies that would supplant tax-supported, mandated services
  • Annual fundraising campaigns or events
  • Creation of, or addition to, endowment funds
  • Payment of debt or legal settlements
  • Political or partisan purposes

Kern Community Foundation does not support organizations that discriminate in their employment practices, volunteer opportunities, or delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics protected by law.

Submitting a Grant Proposal

COVID-19 Relief Fund Grant Applications can be submitted at any time while funds are available, beginning on March 21, 2020. Grantmaking decisions will typically be made within two weeks of receipt of the proposal.


Organizations that are awarded a Kern County COVID-19 Relief Fund grant are encouraged to stay in close contact with the Foundation on the progress of their efforts and emerging needs.


For questions regarding Kern County COVID-19 Relief Fund Grants, please contact Louis Medina, Director of Community Impact, at or 661.616.2603.

Apply Online

‘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

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


Community Events

  1. Autism on Run- 2k/5k Event

    November 7 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  2. The League of Dreams Gala

    Jan 30, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm