2024 Judi McCarthy Women and Young Women Philanthropy Award nomination due February 15

The Women’s and Girls’ Fund of Kern Community Foundation is asking the community to nominate women, and young women ages 16 to 25, for The 2024 Judi McCarthy Women’s Philanthropy Award between now and February 15, 2024. The namesake for this prestigious award that honors women and girls who are committed to improving the lives of Kern County residents through their giving and leadership, is Judi McCarthy, a well-known local philanthropist and a founding member of The Women’s and Girls’ Fund of Kern Community Foundation.

The awards selection committee will review all nominations and select the 2024 recipient in early March. One award in each category will be presented at the Women’s & Girls’ Fund Annual Luncheon scheduled for April 24, 2024.  The committee is responsible for the final selection.  (In the unlikely event that the committee feels that no nominees have met the criteria, the awards may be withheld.)

The Women’s Philanthropy Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrates a philanthropic spirit through personal giving or inspiring others to support charitable organizations;
  • Exhibits a long-term commitment to, and a passion for, bettering the lives of Kern County residents;
  • Focuses on seeking solutions to a problem rather than easing the symptoms; and
  • Inspires others to take a leadership role in philanthropy.

The Young Women’s Philanthropy Selection Criteria

  • Is between 16 and 25 years of age, and eligible for extra-curricular activities (if in high school) and not on academic probation (if in college);
  • Demonstrates a philanthropic spirit through personal giving or inspiring others to support charitable organizations;
  • Exhibits a commitment to, and a passion for, bettering the lives of Kern County residents;
  • Focuses on seeking solutions to a problem rather than easing the symptoms

If you would like more information on The Women’s and Girl’s Fund (Click Here).



GIVE BIG KERN 2023: Report to the Community

The Give Big Kern 2023 Community Report is now available!

Save the Date for Give Big Kern 2024, Tuesday, May 7, 2024!!

The much-anticipated Give Big Kern 2023 Community Report has arrived, and it’s time to celebrate the incredible achievements of this year’s event! In the report, you will see the highlights, prize winners, and the impact made possible by our generous sponsors and donors.

Gratitude to Sponsors and Donors:

We extend our gratitude to all our sponsors and donors who made Give Big Kern 2023 possible. Your generosity and commitment to our community are truly remarkable. Without your support, none of this would have been achievable. Every dollar raised has a direct and lasting impact on local nonprofits and the people they serve.

A Record-Breaking Year:

One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s report is the astounding figure: GBK 2023 raised a grand total of $965,839 for local participating nonprofits! This remarkable achievement reflects the collective effort and passion of our community. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of those who rely on the services provided by these nonprofits.

Share the Report and Inspire Others:

We encourage you to share this report with others, especially nonprofit organizations that may not have participated in GBK before. By sharing Give Big Kern, we hope to inspire even more organizations to join us next year. Together, we can continue to build a stronger, more vibrant Kern County.

View 2022 Report to the Community

Save the Date for Give Big Kern 2024: May 7, 2024

GIVE BIG KERN 2022 Community Report Out NOW!

The Give Big Kern 2022 Community Report is now available!

Click on the image or link above to access our 2022 Report to the Community.

In this report you will view the highlights and prize winners! Thank you to all the sponsors and donors!

This year we raised $885,235 for local participating nonprofits!

Please share this report with others- especially with other nonprofits, to encourage those who have yet participated in Give Big Kern to consider doing so next year.

Save the Date for Give Big Kern 2023 May 2, 2023!!

Kern Community Foundation Announces Aaron Falk as New President and CEO

Bakersfield, Calif., December 1, 2021 – The Board of Directors of Kern Community Foundation announced that Aaron Falk has been named President and CEO. Falk, who will begin his tenure on December 20, succeeds Dr. Kristen Beall Watson, who held the position for six years before leaving to serve as Chief of Staff to the President at California State University, Bakersfield in August of this year.

Aaron is a Bakersfield native with over a decade of public service in the Federal government as well as several years in outside sales and professional golf. He joins the Community Foundation after serving for 4 years as U.S. Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s local Field Representative. He previously worked in Washington, D.C. for the House Armed Services Committee and U.S. Congresswoman Martha McSally.  “I am excited and humbled that the Board has selected me”, said Falk.  “I returned to Kern County from Washington because I wanted to know that my work would have a positive impact on my hometown, and the Community Foundation is a perfect fit.”

“Aaron is an excellent choice for this important role,” said Beall Watson. “His breadth of experience and connection to the community are key to leading Kern Community Foundation far into the future.”

The Kern Community Foundation, established in 1999, works directly with community philanthropists. The Community Foundation provides personalized services to help donors support a wide range of strategic and community initiatives. As a legislative staffer, Falk oversaw hundreds of programs across the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). His portfolio included over $1 trillion in annual budgeting. Aaron passed several laws protecting women in the U.S. military. “Strategic planning and competent execution are paramount to accomplishing great things,” said Falk. “Kern County is full of people with big hearts who seek to improve the quality of life for everyone, and I look forward to devoting myself to that cause.”

Falk holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has completed the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College as a civilian. He is currently pursuing his master’s in business administration at California State University, Bakersfield. He lives in Bakersfield with his wife Lauren and daughter Mia.


CAPK Seeks Help Me Grow – Care Coordinator

Responsible for supervising and monitoring the overall effectiveness of the Help Me Grow Kern County (HMGKC) process; providing feedback to key professionals/organizations, parents, and medical providers working with the children to improve effectiveness of the HMGKC system; and delivering reports on the HMGKC system to responsible parties in the community. The HMGKC Care Coordinator will work with the Coordinating Body and the HMGKC community partners to address system improvement as needed. For more information (click here).

Women’s and Girls’ Fund Announces 2021-22 Grant Cycle – Calls for LOI’s by Nov. 11!

The Women’s and Girls’ Fund, a Leadership Initiative of Kern Community Foundation, announces its Grant Cycle for 2021-2022, which begins today, Monday, Sept. 27. Approximately $60,000 will be awarded in Spring 2022 to nonprofits delivering education and training programs/services to women or girls in Kern County. The Maximum Award is $25,000.

The application process begins with the submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to apply for funding by 5 p.m. Nov. 11.

We encourage applicants to do the following:

Grantees who received WGF grants in Spring of 2021 may not apply for WGF 2022 funding. Any previous awardees of WGF or other grants from the Foundation that have outstanding follow-up reports must complete those reports before they can apply for WGF funding.

Agencies must also comply with Kern Community Foundation’s grantmaking guidelines, which include:

  • Being registered with Kern Community Foundation through the same Online Grants Platform that can be accessed via the hyperlink above; and
  • Having a Silver or higher transparency rating on, the world’s largest database on nonprofits.

About The Women’s and Girls’ Fund

The Women’s and Girls’ Fund was launched in 2005 as a leadership initiative of Kern Community Foundation. It is primarily a volunteer effort guided by the leadership of the Vision Committee and Community Advisors. The assets of the Fund are professionally managed and invested by Kern Community Foundation, which also provides oversight of Fund grant decisions.

Through grantmaking, members of The Women’s and Girls’ Fund become philanthropists and advocates of positive social change. Fund members rely on community research, data and the participation of community members to identify an area of focus each year. Issues of focus can range from women’s and girls’ health and economic concerns to safety and domestic violence, education, and more.

Since its first grantmaking in 2008, The Women’s and Girls’ Fund has awarded 43 competitive grants, totaling $505,686, to nonprofits serving women and girls in Kern County.

About Kern Community Foundation

Kern Community Foundation is a vibrant nonprofit enterprise with a powerfully simple mission: “Growing Community. Growing Philanthropy.”

For more than two decades, the Foundation has been in business to serve as a charitable resource for local donors and corporations, and to generate capital that provides philanthropic solutions to help make Kern County a better place to live, to work and to visit. Since its establishment in 1999, the Foundation has grown to hold more than 170 charitable funds, with assets nearing $29 million, and has awarded close to $25 million in grants and scholarships, ranking in the top two-thirds of the 100 most active grantmakers, nationwide, since 2013.


Write to Cristina Camacho, Community Network Coordinator, at

Hot off the Press: Give Big Kern 2021 Report to the Community!

Following another record-breaking year for Give Big Kern, Kern Community Foundation would like to share with our partners and supporters the Give Big Kern 2021 Report to the Community, which includes:

  • Our Giving Day results,
  • Feedback from donors and nonprofit partners, and
  • A look ahead to next year’s Give Big Kern.

Click on the hyperlink above, or on the image to access it. Happy reading and…Save the date: Our next Give Big Kern will be May 3, 2022! Till then–Give B-i-i-i-g!

Kern Community Foundation Seeks Director of Community Impact

Kern Community Foundation, whose mission is “Growing community. Growing philanthropy.” is seeking a Director of Community Impact to manage and develop the Foundation’s Nonprofit Strengthening Initiative, which aims to increase the Visibility, Capacity and Sustainability of Kern’s nonprofit sector through special programs, community engagement, collaboration and networking, grantmaking, marketing/communication efforts and donor relations. This is a full-time, exempt position with competitive benefits. Find the full job description here. Applicants, please send a resume and cover letter to

Kern Valley Sun a Great Regional Media Partner in this Year’s Give Big Kern Effort!

If Kern Community Foundation (KCF) had taken out a full-page ad in each of the four April issues of the Kern Valley Sun to promote the nonprofits participating in this year’s Give Big Kern on May 4th, each ad would have cost us $844.20 at the Sun’s discounted nonprofit rate, for a total bill of $3,377!

However, thanks to their in-kind contribution, we got almost a full page each week in April to highlight three nonprofits each time, who told impactful stories about the work they do and detailed their fundraising needs in their own words. At 75% of the total advertising price, the Kern Valley Sun’s in-kind contribution to this year’s Give Big Kern effort is valued at $2,533!

But it is worth MUCH more than that, because you really can’t put a price on important community connections made by our hard-working nonprofits with potential clients, supporters, volunteers and donors who are readers or subscribers to the Sun. What’s more, some Bakersfield-based nonprofits wanting to extend their service footprint to the Kern River Valley area specifically chose to submit stories for publication in the Sun to make themselves better known among its readers. 

Such a tremendous contribution on the part of the Kern Valley Sun was crucial to the success of this year’s Give Big Kern, which broke the $800,000 fundraising ceiling for the first time. All 129 participating nonprofits from all corners of Kern County received donations.

Indeed, the Kern Valley Sun’s generosity shines most brightly! Thank you!

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