Kern Community Foundation Launches Nonprofit Sustainability Program
Jul 21, 2015

Kern Community Foundation has launched a new program, the Nonprofit Endowment Partnership, to address issues of Nonprofit Sustainability in our community. By competitive selection, 7 local charitable organizations will participate in the first cohort of the program:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County
  • Bakersfield Museum of Art
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County
  • CASA of Kern County
  • Garden Pathways
  • Golden Empire Gleaners
  • Links for Life

The Nonprofit Endowment Partnership is a culmination of 4 years of data collection and capacity building work done by the Foundation. “Since 2011, we have known that the nonprofit sector in Kern County is fragile,” explains Foundation President and CEO Kristen Barnes. “We found that 90% of nonprofits have less than 12 months savings and 4 in 5 do not have an endowment. What this means is our nonprofits are often busy fundraising so they can keep their doors open, instead of doing the vital work our community needs. We want to change that.”

Over the next year and a half, the Foundation will work hand in hand with these organizations to develop policies and practices that will improve their long-term sustainability. Using a custom curriculum, tailored to each organization, they will go through the stages of “ready, set, and go” in creating and growing an endowment and planned giving program. Through an endowment, the organizations will have a permanent source of revenue. Through a planned giving program, donors will have more options of how to give to the organization they love and can create their own charitable legacy.

The program’s anticipated success is built upon information from the “Transfer of Wealth in Kern County” report (available at The report estimates that between 2010 and 2060, the residents of Kern County will transfer at least $80 billion between generations. If 5% of this wealth was captured to permanent endowments, the nonprofit sector would be completely sustained, no longer needing to fundraise for their operations.

“The Partnership program will be putting the Transfer of Wealth report to work,” Ms. Barnes said. “These organizations are important to our community; we want to be sure they’re around for a long time. Our program will directly influence their long-term sustainability by putting best practices in place and creating permanent giving options for their donor base.”


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 $18 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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