Kern Community Foundation Doubles Annual Grants, Awards a Record $3 Million in 2014
Jan 13, 2015

In the year ending December 31, 2014, Kern Community Foundation (“Foundation”) set a record by awarding approximately $3 million in grants, most of which went to local nonprofit charitable organizations.  This amount doubled the previous year’s grant totals and brought the Foundation’s fifteen-year cumulative grant total to more than $13.1 million.

Individuals, families, and corporations that have chosen the Foundation as the home for their philanthropy were the most active and generous grantmakers in 2014. Grants from donor advised funds totaled $2.2 million, the majority of which supported local organization in Kern County.

Grants of significance from donor advised funds in 2014 included:

  • $500,000 from the Aera Energy Fund to Bakersfield College for the Area STEM Success Center
  • $300,000 from the Aera Energy Fund to the Kern County Museum Foundation for their new orientation center, the Aera Gallery
  • $50,000 from the Donald and Earlene Barnes Charitable Fund to Bakersfield Christian High School
  • $25,000 from the Marvin Steinert Family Charitable Fund to Teen Challenge
  • $15,000 from the Stan and Nancy Wilson Benevolence Fund to Richland School District for their fourth grade mission field trip
In its seventh cycle of grantmaking, the Women’s and Girls’ Fund, a leadership initiative of the Foundation, awarded a total of $30,000 in grants to three local nonprofit organizations. Dress for Success Bakersfield received $7,000 for the capacity building of its Career Center. Youth 2 Leaders Education Foundation received $8,000 to provide seminars on college entry for emancipating foster girls. Kern Adult Literacy Council received $15,000 for its pilot program to offer small group ESL classes to mothers.

The Foundation’s initiative KernArts Now! awarded its final grants, totaling $30,000, to six organizations in Kern County: Bakersfield Museum of Art for its renovation and sustainability project, California Living Museum for its California Coast Room, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra for BSO Next, Kern County Museum Foundation for its 75th anniversary fundraising initiative, Maturango Museum of the Indian Wells for its building fund, and Ridgecrest Chamber Music Society for discretionary use.

With the launch of college access as one of the Foundation’s strategic priorities, a total of $288,745 was awarded as scholarships. $68,745 was awarded to local students through scholarship funds established by families and individuals. The Oscar and Libbie Rudnick Scholarship Fund and David Moore Agricultural Scholarship Fund distributed their first scholarships. Meanwhile, the Mayor of Bakersfield Scholarship Fund awarded scholarships for its twelfth year in a row. In order to support first generation college students, the Foundation partnered with Youth 2 Leaders Education Foundation and awarded $220,000 in scholarship to local students through their competitive process.

The Foundation’s second strategic priority, nonprofit sustainability, was supported by providing 18 local nonprofits the opportunity to participate in the Core Capacity Assessment Tool. Covering costs of over $12,000, the participants were able to measure their effectiveness in relation to leadership, adaptability, management, and technical capacities.

Kern Community Foundation looks forward to the year ahead to continue carrying out its mission of growing community and growing philanthropy. To learn how you can make an impact on local organizations or in local students’ lives, visit

Kern Community Foundation is a vibrant nonprofit enterprise with the powerfully simple mission of growing community and growing philanthropy.  The Foundation is 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 100 charitable funds with assets of approximately $19 million, and has awarded more than $13.1 million to improve Kern County’s quality of life. For more information about Kern Community Foundation visit

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