The Women’s & Girls’ Fund, a leadership initiative of Kern Community Foundation, has announced up to $50,000 in grant allocations in its twelfth cycle of competitive grantmaking to Kern County nonprofit organizations that serve local women or girls within the focus area of education and training.

WGF values social change grantmaking that emphasizes finding long-term solutions to societal problems facing women and girls in all parts of Kern County.

“Since its inception, the Women’s and Girls’ Fund has provided over $320,000 in grants to local nonprofits that serve women and girls, primarily in the area of educational attainment,” said WGF Vision Committee Chair Cathy Bennett, who is also the facilitator of the Fund’s Grants Allocation Committee.

“Every year we receive compelling grant applications, many of which demonstrate out-of-the-box thinking for improving education outcomes for women and girls. In our last funding round, we funded the local Girl Scouts Connect program for at-risk, low socioeconomic level girls, allowing them to participate in Girl Scouts. We also funded — for the third time — an amazingly successful program for girls’ leadership at Bakersfield Police Activities League.”

She continued, “Kern County is blessed with scores of nonprofits providing educational support for women and girls and we want to see grant applications from all of them!”

The first step in this competitive grant cycle is to submit a Letter of Intent through Kern Community Foundation’s Online Grants Platform (at kernfoundation.org/grants) by 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9.

Organizations interested in applying should have a 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation or fiscal sponsor. All organizations seeking funds must have a presence in Kern County and all programs must benefit women and/or girls within Kern County.

Funding is typically for one year only; and while multi-year grant requests may be considered, applicants should also be prepared to accept one year’s funding only. All requested follow-up reports for previous grants received from Kern Community Foundation, including The Women’s and Girls’ Fund, must be on file before an agency can apply for additional funding.

Agencies must also comply with Kern Community Foundation’s grant-making guidelines, which include: a) being registered with Kern Community Foundation through the same Online Grants Platform that can be accessed via the hyperlink above; and b) having a Silver or higher transparency rating on GuideStar.org, the world’s largest database on nonprofits. Please refer to the WGF’s Grantmaking Policy and Focus Area Document for the 2018-2019 Grant Cycle (at kernfoundation.org/wgf/grantmaking) for more details.

Following evaluation of LOIs by the WGF’s Grants Allocation Committee, a number of agencies will be invited in early December to submit full grant applications. The maximum individual award is $25,000, and the total moneys to be awarded are $50,000.

Louis Medina is manager of community impact at Kern Community Foundation.

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