Grantmaking, Giving at Kern Community Foundation Up Compared to Nation
Jul 2, 2012

For the third year in a row, Kern Community Foundation has ranked among the top 100 most active grantmakers among community foundations nationwide according to a recent report by CF Insights and the Council on Foundations. In 2011, Kern Community Foundation awarded approximately $1.1 million in grants, which equaled approximately eight percent of its total assets. Private foundations, by comparison, are required to distribute a minimum of five percent of their total assets.

“There are roughly 700 community foundations across America,” said Jeff Pickering, President and CEO.  Kern Community Foundation’s consistent ranking among the top 100 most active grantmakers demonstrates the unique character of the generous donors in our community. Most grants awarded by our Foundation come from donor-advised funds, which are set up by local families and businesses as a way to organize and get better results from their charitable giving.”

Giving by local donors also appears to have fared better than the rest of the nation. According to Giving USA’s annual report, charitable giving barely grew nationwide in 2011, rising less than one percent in 2011. “Gifts to Kern Community Foundation in 2011 were higher than any previous year in the Foundation’s history,” Pickering reported.  “Local donors contributed more than $4.2 million to the Foundation last year.”

As for 2012, contributions to Kern Community Foundation have already passed 2011, supported mostly by charitable bequests and gifts of real estate. In April, the Foundation received $500,000 of an eventual $4 million from the estate of Elynor Rudnick Falk to support the Oscar and Libbie Rudnick Scholarship Fund. In June, the Foundation received its first gift of commercial real estate, with a value of $1.2 million.

Earlier this year, Kern Community Foundation released the groundbreaking study “Transfer of Wealth in Kern County,” which estimates that at least $80 billion will transfer between generations in Kern County over the next 50 years.“This transfer of wealth – the process whereby one generation transfers their assets to the next – represents the single largest underdeveloped financial resource available to support development in our community,” said Pickering. “If just five percent of this opportunity is captured into community endowments, a total of $4 billion could be realized with the potential to generate $200 million annually in grantmaking for the good of Kern.”

Kern Community Foundation is a vibrant nonprofit enterprise created by and for the people of Kern County. Its mission is powerfully simple – the Foundation is growing community and growing philanthropy. Kern Community Foundation is known as a home for Kern community philanthropists, a results-oriented grant maker and a trusted community leader. Since its establishment in 1999, the Foundation has grown to hold more than 100 charitable funds with assets of more than $15 million, and has awarded more than $8 million to improve Kern County’s quality of life.

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