Kern Community Foundation is a vibrant nonprofit enterprise with a powerfully simple mission of growing community and growing philanthropy.

We are known as:

  • a home for local philanthropists.
  • a results-oriented grantmaker.
  • a trusted community leader.

We are in business:

  • to serve as a charitable resource for local donors and corporations.
  • to generate capital that provides philanthropic solutions to help make Kern County a better place to live, to work and to visit.

Our Vision

Kern Community Foundation believes in philanthropy – the practice of giving now and making long-term investments to support effective charitable organizations and programs forever – making Kern County a better place to live, to work and to visit.


Kern Community Foundation began with a vision shared by Curtis Darling and Morton Brown. Their vision was that of a local organization being established, and permanently dedicated to encouraging and facilitating philanthropy in Kern County. Other community leaders joined in the effort, and over a period of almost 5 years, Kern Community Foundation was planned, organized, and formally established in 1999.

The founding Board of Directors agreed that Kern Community Foundation’s consistent objective should be to enhance the quality of life of all people in Kern County. Through the strong vision of community leaders and the guidance of a dedicated Board of Directors, Kern Community Foundation’s establishment and initial growth quickly lead to its standing as a home for local philanthropists, results-oriented grantmaker, and trusted community leader.

What is a community foundation?

Founded by local leaders in order to create a permanent pool of charitable funds to support local organizations, community foundations are independent, tax-exempt public charities. The first community foundation was established in Cleveland in 1914, and now there are 1,800 local community foundations across the globe. They encourage individuals, organizations and companies to fund important community activities where they live and work. They also support the community in working together to promote common goals. They issue grants to support activities that will have positive impacts on the lives of the residents while bringing community members and leaders together to address social and regional challenges.

By giving through the Kern Community Foundation, you are joining a worldwide network of like-minded people who want to create positive change in their own communities.