Bakersfield News Observer In-Kind Contribution to Give Big Kern Worth Upwards of $12K!

If Kern Community Foundation (KCF) had taken out a full-page ad in each of the four April issues of the Bakersfield News Observer (BNO) to promote the nonprofits participating in this year’s Give Big Kern on May 4th, each ad would have cost us $3,020, for a total bill of $12,080!

However, thanks to the partnership we enjoy with the BNO, a total of 16 nonprofits, including KCF, submitted stories, photos and logos that were handsomely laid out in four full pages devoted to Give Big Kern, one per weekly issue during all of April. This gave Give Big Kern participating nonprofits much visibility in the community, and helped raise awareness of our increasingly popular Giving Day.

Such a tremendous contribution on the part of the BNO was crucial to the success of this year’s Give Big Kern, which broke the $800,000 ceiling, and also had an individual agency raise upwards of $100,000 for the first time in our Giving Day’s history. That agency is Bakersfield Angels, which provides services to foster children and families, and whose article was featured in the BNO issue of April 21st.

We thank the Bakersfield News Observer for being a year-over-year Media Sponsor whose generous in-kind contributions–which we could not afford otherwise–help raise community awareness of Give Big Kern participating nonprofits’ fundraising needs.

That’s an in-kind way of Growing Community, Growing Philanthropy and, as Give Big Kern Mascot Billy the Give Big Goat might say, “A great way to Give B-i-i-i-g!”

Click on the image above (or on this link) to view the entire series. 

The Spring Issue of ‘Billy’s Give B-I-I-I-G! Gazette’ is Hot Off the Press and Full of Give Big Kern N-e-e-e-w-s!

Give Big Kern Mascot Billy the Give Big Goat put on his Editor-In-Chief visor and sleeve protectors like the newspaper publishers of old, and has just come out with the latest issue of “Billy’s Give B-I-I-I-G! Gazette” his e-newsletter that is full of Give Big Kern news! The Spring 2021 issue is hot off the press, just short of two weeks from when will go LIVE to start receiving donations and volunteer pledges to benefit Kern County’s hard-working nonprofits. Here’s the news: Beginning Sunday, April 4 (Easter Sunday!), anyone can make a minimum $5 donation or pledge volunteer hours to any one of 130 participating local nonprofits through That’s our tradition: Give Big Kern goes LIVE a month out from the B-I-I-I-G Day, which this year is May 4 – always the first Tuesday in May. This creates a buildup of excitement, and, as Billy likes to say, “Culminates in a f-r-e-e-e-n-z-y of giving on Give Big Kern D-a-a-a-y!” There’s so much to get excited about! Please click on the image (or on this link) to access the gazette, which is full of ideas on how YOU can help support your favorite nonprofit(s) by getting involved with them through fun promotions and activities – or better yet, by simply GIVING to them monetarily or in kind. Happy reading!

2021 Waterman Foundation Rotary Club of Bakersfield Capital Grant Application Period Open Now Thru April 30!

The Waterman Foundation (Foundation) was established by the Bakersfield Downtown Rotary Club in 1984 to provide scholarships to local students and grants for capital projects supporting local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees governs the activities of the Foundation and is comprised of members of the Downtown Bakersfield Rotary Club. For the 2020-2021 Capital Grant Program, The Waterman Foundation will award a total of $30,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations. Grants will be awarded only for capital projects and not for such items as operating expenses. Capital projects, for purposes of this grant, are defined as improvements to buildings or land, purchases of equipment, or upgrades to facilities. Grants will be awarded no later than May 31, 2021.

Some important information concerning this grant opportunity:

  1. The application must be sponsored by a member of Bakersfield Downtown Rotary Club. Applicants are required to provide the Club member’s name and contact information in the application.
  2. The Waterman Foundation only awards grants for one calendar year, and there will ordinarily be an interceding year before an agency may be funded two years consecutively.
  3. An agency may submit only one grant application per funding round. Applications from multiple programs within the same agency will not be considered.
  4. An agency must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, be registered with Kern Community Foundation and have a minimum Silver rating on
  5. The dollar amount to be distributed will be determined each funding year by the Waterman Foundation’s Board of Trustees, including whether only a single large grant will be made to one agency, or a number of smaller grants made to more than one agency.
  6. Grant applications must meet at least one of the “Areas of Community Need” listed below.
  7. Grant requests must be for capital items and not operating expenses. Capital items, for the purpose of this grant, are defined as improvements to buildings or land, purchases of equipment, or upgrades to facilities.
  8. The grant application must address each question in the application or it will not be considered for funding.
  9. Likewise, all required documents must be attached to the application, or it will not be considered for funding.
  10. A Final Report must be submitted by the applicant through Kern Community Foundation’s Online Grants Platform for the Rotary Club Waterman Foundation review no later than twelve months following the grant award. Failure to submit a Final Report could impact future grant requests.
  11. A media advisory by the organization announcing their receipt of a Rotary Club Waterman Foundation Grant, or an article in the awardee’s organization newsletter is encouraged to continue to raise awareness of this grant opportunity in the local community. Any such release should mention the grantor as the “Rotary Club of Bakersfield.”

Areas of Community Need

Your proposal should demonstrate how your proposed project meets one or more of the following identified community needs:

  • Health and human services for the uninsured and under-insured
  • Transportation
  • Child care and development
  • Availability of health and related services
  • Jobs and training
  • Programs and services for seniors
  • Mental health services
  • Programs and services for youth
  • Affordable housing
  • Drug and alcohol services
  • Dental care
  • Teen pregnancy prevention
  • Respiratory problems
  • Communicable diseases
  • Childhood obesity
  • Education
  • Homeless

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees will decide which organization(s) will be awarded funds, and in what amount(s). The criteria for selecting recipients include the following:

  • The degree to which the project will meet the needs of our community.
  • Thoroughness in completing the application
  • Are all required attachments included with the application?
  • Has the applicant fully followed the directions contained in the application?


Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM, Thursday, April 30, 2021. Kern Community Foundation is facilitating online submission of this application. Apply Online Questions? Please write to

FREE All-Day Grant Writing Workshop at CSUB Thursday, April 8

What looks like the grant writing workshop to end all grant writing workshops is NOT too good to be true! On Thursday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cal State Bakersfield’s Grants, Research and Sponsored Programs (GRASP) initiative will host a grant writing workshop taught by Jeremy T. Miner, M.A., hailing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he is the Director of Grants and Contracts. A published author of a number of grant writing books, Mr. Miner will help attendees get a true grasp on all the moving pieces that make for a strong proposal. Click on the image of the flyer to download and print an 8.5″ x 11″ size copy. Space is limited, and you must RSVP to Note: Please also direct all inquiries to the same e-mail address above, as Kern Community Foundation is only helping to get the word out to our Nonprofit Partners. We are not qualified to answer questions about this training opportunity.

California Trout is Hiring!

California Trout, which through scores of boots-on-the-ground conservation projects works to ensure that resilient wild fish thrive in healthy waters for a better California, is currently looking to fill FIVE positions throughout the state, including a Sierra Program Manager and a Central Valley Project Manager. This Environment & Animals nonprofit, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, has six regional offices in California. Please follow this link to their Job Opportunities page to view the job descriptions. Please click here to view a detailed job description for the Sierra Program Manager position based in Mammoth Lakes, which they are eagerly looking to fill and for which they welcome applications.

Give Big Kern Success Story: Fundraising is Great, but Connections Made Are Priceless!

This testimonial was submitted by Lois Henry, CEO and Editor of Give Big Kern 2020 first-time participant SJV Water (, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to covering water issues in the San Joaquin Valley. It helps to illustrate how Give Big Kern goes beyond helping nonprofits raise unrestricted funds, and actually assists them in achieving long-term sustainability by teaching them important skills and allowing them to make long-lasting networking and business connections. This is a true testament of the magic that happens when the entire community comes together in support of Kern’s hard-working nonprofits by setting aside “One Day to Celebrate the Giving Spirit of Kern County!” through Give Big Kern. Enjoy reading this story! (Lois is on the right in the Zoom screen grab above. On the left is the main subject of her story, Mayan Lara.) I had no idea what I was signing up for when Louis Medina, Director of Community Impact with Kern Community Foundation, encouraged me to get my nonprofit, SJV Water, involved with Give Big Kern (GBK) in late 2019. When you’re neck-deep in all the things a nonprofit has to do, it’s hard to break out of the grind and dedicate the time to learning something new. But what a huge help GBK has been to SJV Water. It taught me the importance of maintaining a high transparency rating on, which, in turn, helped me keep my funding and corporate information organized and accessible, which, in turn, helped me apply for other funding. And yes, SJV Water earned some good money (over $3,000) during the GBK event in 2020. The best part of GBK, however, was that it introduced me to Mayan Lara, then a college student at California State University, Bakersfield. One of GBK’s benefits is that it teams students with nonprofits that sign up for volunteer help. And I desperately needed help with social media/marketing/graphics, etc. That’s how I met Mayan, via Dr. Kyung Jung Han’s Public Relations Management Class at CSUB. Mayan really upped SJV Water’s profile, look and feel through the GBK event. I came to rely on her skills so much, I worked out a deal to pay her on a contract basis so she could keep the social media-marketing train rolling through summer. I applied for a grant through Southern California Edison with the express purpose of funding Mayan’s work through the fall and got it! In subsequent fundraising and awareness campaigns, I let my readers know that part of their donations would go toward paying Mayan. I got some great reactions from donors who enthusiastically supported giving a talented young person the experience and MONEY to get started in their career. They felt good about donating so they could help SJV Water help a young person. Now, Mayan is gearing up SJV Water’s second GBK fundraising campaign and already has some great ideas for how to build awareness and educate donors about the importance of GBK. She understands social media, takes time to understand what SJV Water is all about and has incredible graphic design skills. Mayan is, of course, naturally talented. But I also credit CSUB for giving Mayan a very strong foundation to start from. And “muchas, muchas” credit to GBK for being the bridge to connect an upcoming marketing phenom with little old SJV Water! Mayan is looking for full-time work, but has agreed to keep helping SJV Water until she lands her dream job. Thank you Mayan and thank you Give Big Kern!  

Announcing the Nonprofit Empowerment Center at Kern Community Foundation!

Kern Community Foundation is proud to present its new Nonprofit Empowerment Center, an online resource hub to help Kern County’s 501(c)(3) Charitable Organizations strengthen their Visibility, Capacity, Sustainability and Resiliency during our current challenging times.
We invite you to visit to explore a robust offering that includes:

  • Access to the Foundation Directory Online by Candid
  • A Toolkit for Nonprofit Strengthening
  • COVID-19 Resources
  • Nonprofit Leadership Resources
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Information
  • A Nonprofit Strengthening Events Calendar that features exclusively a wide array of learning opportunities for nonprofit organizations, including trainings, webinars, workshops and more.

About Foundation Directory Online

For serious grant seekers and fundraising professionals seeking to strengthen their nonprofit organization, the Foundation Directory Online (FDO) delivers quality funding prospects by combining exhaustive data with intuitive search functionality and informative data visualizations. Included in the directory are profiles of more than 166,000 foundations, corporate giving programs, and grantmaking public charities, as well as profiles of more than 800,000 grant recipients and information on more than 16.8 million awarded grants.

FDO access through Kern Community Foundation’s website is FREE, but is reserved for 501(c)(3) nonprofits that are registered with KCF and are current on their GuideStar profile, having earned a seal of transparency at the Silver, Gold or Platinum level. Login access must be requested from KCF, which is now a member of Candid’s Funding Information Network.

Click here or on the Foundation Directory Online logo above to find out about FDO and request access.

Special Announcement No. 1: Nonprofits that have already been granted login credentials on to submit events for posting on our Community Events Calendar do not need to request separate FDO access. Simply use those same login credential to access FDO per the “click here” link above.

Special Announcement No. 2: While you are on the FDO access page of our website, be sure to read the announcement about two upcoming FREE webinars on how to use the Foundation Directory Online:
On March 3 at 11 a.m., and
On March 18 at 10 a.m. PERK: The March 18 webinar will be a live workshop customized especially for Kern County Nonprofits.

You will need to create a login account separately with Candid to attend these and other Candid Learning events, but it’s free.
Thank you for all you do to make our community a better place! We hope the Nonprofit Empowerment Center at Kern Community Foundation will help strengthen your endeavors.

Questions? Please contact

Scotty K. Gifting Project Grant Application for Kern Educational Institutions Open Thru March 1

GRANT ALERT! The application period for a Scotty K. Gifting Project Grant from the Scott Kirschenmann Family Foundation is now open through Noon on March 1.

Eligible applicants are Kern County educational institutions involved in the following areas:

  • Primary, secondary, and post-secondary education initiatives that create opportunities for our youth to succeed and pursue a better future.
  • Programs that provide relevant work experience and mentoring opportunities in the areas of agriculture and related industries to support the current Kern County workforce.
  • Agribusiness-related programs at all levels of education institutions.

These educational institutions will demonstrate a clear plan for the use of funds and will identify how said funds will benefit Kern County’s youth to persevere. Go to and click on “Grants and Scholars” to find out more and submit your application.

Jumpstart Fundraising Technical Assistance Program Grant Application Open Jan. 27 – Feb. 16!

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 County of Kern. Through Jumpstart, a small cohort of Kern nonprofits benefits from the use of state-of-the-art fundraising tools and individualized coaching for a 12-month period 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.

The Jumpstart 2021 Grant Application Period is open from Noon Wednesday, Jan. 27 through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. Eligible nonprofits serving Kern County that are registered with Kern Community Foundation, have a minimum Silver Transparency Rating on, and have never participated in Jumpstart in the past will be able to apply.

Click here to access a Slide Presentation about Jumpstart 2021, including a description of the program, applicant qualifying criteria, and time/monetary investment expectations of potential grantees. The recording of our Jan. 27, 2021 Informational Webinar may be accessed by clicking on this link.

Go to our Available Grants page ( to apply online.

Questions? Please write to