Guideline for Grant Applications

Along with our two grant cycles, The Foundation is always interested in funding projects that focus on literacy, education or cultural or environmental improvement. However, you MUST contact us before applying. Please email  tcowenhoven@bakersfield.com or call (661) 395-7290 before you begin an application. Thank you.

*Note: As of January 2015, the Foundation will only consider applications submitted online. If you run into any trouble when trying to apply via our online application, please don't hesitate to contact us; we are more than happy to help you.

Tips for Applying

When considering an application, the Foundation looks for: 

     • A clear and specific budget for the project requiring funding, including how the requested funds will be allocated.

     • The projected number of constituents the project will serve.
     • The inclusion of the required supporting documents with your application. These required documents include: 

-a copy of your 501(c)3;

-the aforementioned budget;

-a list of your organization’s board members.

     • 501(c)3 organizations. The Foundation is only able to donate money to organizations that are 501(c)3 nonprofits.  [NOTE: If you are not a 501(c)3 but would like to learn how to become one, this guideline from the IRS is a good place to start.]

If you have any questions or wish to discuss potential project ideas, please feel free to email us at the address above.

 

Restrictions

Funding will not be considered for the following:

  • General fundraising events, campaigns, dinners or mass mailings.
  • Direct aid to individuals or private foundations.
  • Social, labor, political or fraternal organizations or movements.
  • Operational or mission-related work of religious organizations. However, Kern County 501(c)3 religious organizations may apply for specific project-related support, such as funding for educational or literacy programs.
  • Multi-year grants. Though occasionally given, the Foundation prefers to fund one-year projects or annual support.
  • Kern County-based nonprofits: The Foundation can only donate to nonprofits located in the Kern County region; outside nonprofits with projects focused solely on impacting Kern County may also apply.

Other Pertinent Information

Decisions: Foundation directors look for programs that have a variety of financial, participatory and voluntary support.

Note: The Bakersfield Californian Foundation receives more worthy grant applications than it can fund. Please review the guidelines for the current grant cycle to determine if your program/project is a good fit for the current grant focus.

Reports: Once a grant is awarded, a report is expected on how the received funds were put into practice. A form supplied by the foundation can be used for this purpose. This follow-up form is due a year after the grant funds are received. The role of the report is to help the foundation evaluate how best to allocate limited funds. The foundation cannot consider any new monetary requests from an organization that has not returned such a report.

Grassroots Organizations: The Foundation has a particular interest in assisting grassroots, self-help organizations.


When to Apply

Foundation directors meet in May and November to review applications and award grants.

Along with these twice-yearly grants, the Foundation funds a limited number of non-cycle grants throughout the year. See guidelines above for more information.