Why We Help Nonprofits

Kern Community Foundation believes in philanthropy – the practice of giving now and making long-term investments to support effective charitable organizations and programs forever. While accepting donations and making grants are a core component of our work, Kern Community Foundation also recognizes the valuable role local nonprofits play in improving the community.

To this end, Kern Community Foundation’s nonprofit services are designed to increase the viability of local organizations – increasing visibility, building capacity, improving sustainability, and growing resiliency – not just for today but for generations to come.

How We Help Nonprofits

In response to urgent COVID-19 needs expressed by Kern’s nonprofit community in a June 2020 survey conducted by Kern Community Foundation, in early September we began offering a Nonprofit Strengthening Webinar Training Series called “Growing Resiliency,” to help sustain our nonprofit partners through the COVID crisis and beyond.

Below are links to information presented thus far, or announcements of upcoming trainings with registration information.

Growing Resiliency Part 1 – Navigating the California Grants Portal, grants.ca.gov, and the State Library’s Website, library,ca.gov. Presented Sept. 2, 2020.

Growing Resiliency Part 2 – Understanding the Resources of the California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) for Small Business. Presented Sept. 30, 2020.

Growing Resiliency Part 3 – Outcomes Thinking & Management. Presented Oct. 28, 2020.

  • Candid Presentation Slides – Shared with webinar attendees only.

Growing Resiliency Part 4 – Your Board and Fundraising

  • Candid Presentation Slides – Shared with webinar attendees only.

For Questions, please contact cristina@kernfoundation.org.


Community Giving Guide This publication features hundreds of local nonprofits, their mission, and their web address to help the community acquire a great understanding of Kern’s truly diverse nonprofit landscape. Click on this link to access and download a copy of our most recent Community Giving Guide.

We also have an interactive online version of our Giving Guide called the Nonprofit Search. Click here to access.


Returning in July 2021 Following a Long COVID Hiatus!

Philanthropy on Tap – Showcasing Kern Nonprofits to Local Business Leaders
Philanthropy on Tap is a competitive “Visibility Grant” opportunity that Kern Community Foundation offers to Kern County nonprofits in partnership with the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.

Designed as a “Guided Q & A” in a new format similar to a talk show beginning in 2020, and held in an informal setting with free drinks and hors d’oeuvres for the audience, Philanthropy on Tap showcases charitable organizations’ programs, services and needs to local business leaders and other members of the community. It is a great networking opportunity designed to raise the visibility of nonprofits, exposing them to potential new donors, volunteers and advocates. It also helps fulfill the mission of Kern Community Foundation: “Growing Community. Growing Philanthropy.”

Most agencies that had been scheduled to present in 2020 had their presentations postponed to the latter half of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Philanthropy on Tap is starting back up again in July 2021! Events alternate between two popular local venues: Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant, and Temblor Brewing Company. For a lineup of Philanthropy on Tap events coming up, as well as a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about this nonprofit strengthening effort, click here.


Competitive Grant Opportunities
These opportunities range from field of interest, like The Women’s and Girls’ Fund, to discretionary dollars the Foundation chooses to grant.

Give Big Kern
Give Big Kern is an online crowd funding effort that celebrates the giving spirit of Kern County. It is a one-month period of community engagement in giving and volunteering that culminates in a 24-hour giving frenzy the first Tuesday in May. Give Big Kern is designed to bring all of Kern County together as one community, raising dollars and volunteer hours for local charitable organizations. The effort shines a light on hard-working local nonprofits, empowering them to advance their marketing and development capabilities, and donor, board and volunteer engagement while encouraging networking and collaboration among agencies across the sector. Since its launch in 2016, Give Big Kern has raised upwards of $2.5 Million dollars for local charities.

Learn more at www.givebigkern.org.

Click on the following link to read and download a copy of our latest “Give Big Kern Report to the Community.”


“Jumpstart” is a competitive grant opportunity made available to Kern County nonprofits thanks to a public-private partnership between Kern Community Foundation and fundraising technology and training giant Network for Good (NFG), with generous funding support from the County of Kern. The program allows a small cohort of nonprofits serving Kern County the opportunity to receive 12 months of fundraising technical assistance and the use of state-of-the-art fundraising software from NFG at a greatly subsidized cost. Jumpstart is designed to help Kern’s nonprofits work smarter, not harder, by building upon the important fundraising work they have already begun through Give Big Kern and other efforts. The program weds the high-touch nurturing and cultivation of long-term relationships with individual donors to the high-tech use of donor development software, in order to help charities diversify and expand general operating dollars.

Agency Endowment Fund
By establishing an Agency Endowment Fund at the Foundation, your nonprofit can create a permanent source of revenue.