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.

2021 Waterman Foundation Rotary Club of Bakersfield Capital Grant Program

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

Philanthropy on Tap “Visibility Grant”

(Application period is 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 2021.

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.”

Due to social distancing and group gathering limitations as prescribed by public health directives in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the remaining Philanthropy on Tap events for 2020 have been postponed till 2021. Event dates TBD.

(Please check back in August 2021 for the Philanthropy on Tap visibility grant opportunity for 2022.)

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


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