June 9, 2011

The First Fifty

Kristen A. Beall, Ed.D.

If your online life is anything like mine, you probably receive more than your fair share of requests to "like" this or "friend" that or "check-in" here or "click" now.  You also may have kids or grandkids who immediately suggest that you "post" that picture you just snapped with your iPhone. (This drives my dad nuts, by the way.)  For me, some of these are meaningful exchanges, others just noise I choose to tune out. 

If your online life is anything like mine, you probably receive more than your fair share of requests to "like" this or "friend" that or "check-in" here or "click" now.  You also may have kids or grandkids who immediately suggest that you "post" that picture you just snapped with your iPhone. (This drives my dad nuts, by the way.)  For me, some of these are meaningful exchanges, others just noise I choose to tune out. But every once in a while something pings across my radar that grabs my attention and makes a difference in my day or the way I see the world. No, I am not talking about that recent Facebook post of what you ate for dinner last night. I'm talking about something meaningful, something that puts me in touch with someone who is doing something remarkable for the world I live in.


In the fall of 2010, Kern Community Foundation's Board of Directors took a bold leap by supporting a plan to bring a game-changing approach to philanthropy to our Kern community.  Together, with the wisdom of a dozen top-performing community foundations from across the country -- in places like San Diego, Kansas City, Nashville and Orlando -- Kern Community Foundation created an online resource designed to help donors and the local community make smarter decisions and achieve greater results from their giving.  We call it our Nonprofit Search.  

This powerful online tool is powered by Guidestar, which provides a simple platform for local nonprofits to create profiles that feature detailed information about their finances, governance and programs.  The program launched this past spring, and is made possible, in part, with generous support from Bill and Nora Bolthouse, Rob and Judi McCarthy, Lightspeed Systems and The Bakersfield Californian Foundation.

In just a few short months, more than 100 local charities have attended an orientation to learn how to create their profile, and 50 have been posted to the site. Take a few minutes to browse the site, and you will find some of the organizations familiar to many of us like the Boys and Girls Club, the Bakersfield Museum of Art or the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation. You may also find something new, like the Maturango Museum of Art or the Tehachapi Wind Museum.  The volunteer leadership and paid staff of these organizations provide the horsepower behind a local nonprofit sector that employs thousands and generates close to $1 billion in revenue each year . . . all in pursuit of the greater good.

If you take time to view the Nonprofit Search and happen to learn something new or inspiring about our community, we'd love to hear from you. We also welcome recommendations of the names of local charities that may not be included yet. We'll reach out and invite any Kern County-based charity with a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS to get on board. 

Congratulations to the "First Fifty" and I look forward to sharing more in the year to come.

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2 Comments

contactbmhf

Dear Jeffrey,

Thank you for mentioning the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation. We are proud to be among your First Fifty!

All the best,
Sue Benham

June 17, 2011, 4:59pm

jeff

You are welcome, Sue.

We keep hearing about great things happening there . . . which makes it easy. Keep up the good work!

Jeff

June 17, 2011, 7:14pm

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