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

Kern Literacy Council Seeks Executive Director

The executive director is responsible for the overall management and administration of the Kern Literacy Council, including service programs, fundraising, and business operations. This position is hired by and directly accountable to the Board of Directors through the elected board president. For more information (click here).

Make-A-Wish Northeastern & Central CA and Northern NV Seeks Regional Director for Kern County

Make-A-Wish, which grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, is seeking a Regional Director for Kern County. This is a full-time, exempt position that reports to the Vice-President of Philanthropy for Make-A-Wish Northeastern & Central California and Northern Nevada ( Find the full job description here. Applicants, please send a resume and cover letter to Jonathan Thornton, VP of Philanthropy, at

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.

Community Events

  1. Job Fair

    January 28 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
  2. Global Family and the Daughter Project’s ‘Best of Bakersfield’ Gala

    October 1 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm