FAQ

Nonprofit FAQ
Donor FAQ

Nonprofit FAQ

Q. What is Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern is “One day to celebrate the giving spirit of Kern County.” It provides a great opportunity for Kern’s generous community to come together to raise dollars and volunteer hours for local nonprofits through online crowdfunding and pledges. In preparation for Give Big Kern, participating nonprofits receive training on online fundraising, marketing, social media, board engagement, donor cultivation and more. Cash prizes are awarded to nonprofits that perform well in fundraising, volunteer recruitment and donor/board engagement through Give Big Kern. In 2019 and 2020, Give Big Kern received our community’s distinguished Beautiful Bakersfield Award for helping to create “A Better Bakersfield”!


Q. When is Give Big Kern?

Observed on the first Tuesday in May, Give Big Kern happens on May 4 in 2021. But givebigkern.org will go live a month out, to begin receiving donations on April 4, in consideration of early-bird donors; it will remain open till midnight on May 5 to also give our lovable procrastinators a whole extra day to still be able to join in the giving fun!


Q. Who is behind Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern is a Nonprofit Strengthening Initiative of Kern Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the powerfully simple mission of “Growing Community and Growing Philanthropy.” Since its establishment in 1999, Kern Community Foundation has stimulated Kern County's economy and humanitarianism with upwards of $25 million in grant making.


Q. Who is GiveGab?

GiveGab is Give Big Kern's technology partner. It is a giving day platform that helps nonprofits to raise money, engage donors and manage volunteers quickly and efficiently. GiveGab offers a full portfolio of simple and easy-to-use products that allows organizations to function in a more streamlined manner.


Q. Is my nonprofit eligible to participate?

To be eligible to participate in Give Big Kern 2021, your nonprofit must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization;
  • Be headquartered, or provide services with a physical office or branch, in Kern County;
  • Be registered with Kern Community Foundation (Learn how to register on the Foundation website, kernfoundation.org/grants); and
  • Have a Silver or higher transparency rating on GuideStar.org, the world’s largest database on nonprofits. Not familiar with GuideStar? Contact the Foundation at 661.616.2603. We’ll be glad to provide you with a better understanding of it as a useful resource to nonprofits.


Q. Why should my nonprofit participate?

As an ONLINE FUNDRAISER Give Big Kern is an ideal way for nonprofits to raise funds while remaining compliant with public health/social distancing protocols in the current environment. Give Big Kern will allow you to:

  • Raise awareness about your organization
  • Engage existing donors/volunteers and reach new ones
  • Enhance donated dollars with matching gift opportunities from your donor base 
  • Expand your online and social media presence and fundraising success
  • Learn and deploy new marketing strategies
  • Support your immediate operating needs through UNRESTRICTED FUNDS
  • Engage your staff, board and supporters in new ways
  • Recruit new volunteers
  • Compete for cash prizes
  • Tap into the renowned giving spirit of Kern's generous community

Q. Registration and Deadlines: How can my nonprofit participate?

All nonprofits interested in participating (including those that have already participated in previous years’ Give Big Kern efforts) must complete the three-step registration process described below:

  1. Sign up for required trainings on the Trainings page of this website.
  2. Register Online at www.givebigkern.org by 5 p.m. Friday, February 26, 2021.
  3. Complete Your Customized Profile on www.givebigkern.org by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2021.


Q. Can more than one person have administrator access to manage our nonprofit’s page on GiveBigKern.org?

Yes, and we recommend that each participating agency have a least a main administrator and a backup. Once an administrator has completed the registration process, that person will have access to instructions for setting up additional administrators.


Q. How much does it cost to participate in Give Big Kern?

It is FREE for nonprofits to participate in Give Big Kern and to maintain a profile on the GiveGab platform year-round. There are transaction fees for donations received during the Give Big Kern giving season (April 4 - May 5, 2021)*, which are broken down as follows:

  • GiveGab technology provider platform fee of 3%.
  • Credit Card processing fees are an additional 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.
  • Donors are given the option to cover the fees for their donation, and in generous Kern County, more than 90% of them do! If they cover the applicable fees, 100% of their online charitable gift will go to your nonprofit.
  • Donors making donations of $100 or more to an organization have the option to connect with their bank account for an ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer. This option includes a flat $3 fee + the 3% platform fee, which is ideal for donors giving large amounts!

*  (Please note that a different transaction fee structure applies to online donations received outside of the April 4 - May 5, 2021 date range. Please click here for more information.)


Q. How much of the donation will go to our nonprofit?

GiveGab will remit all donations, net of the processing fees (see above for details), directly to your nonprofit. For donors, all donations are 100% tax-deductible and GiveGab will provide e-mail receipts for all donations made online.


Q. When will we receive the donated funds?

As long as bank routing and account information has been verified, nonprofits will receive all donations, less any uncovered processing fees (see above for details), via direct deposit within 5-7 business days. GiveGab uses a PCI Level I compliant payment service to ensure that all financial data is secure. (Please Note: Organizations that request to have Kern Community Foundation act as their Fiscal Sponsor during Give Big Kern will receive one cumulative check for all donations received during the April 4 - May 5 giving period within a month after Give Big Kern Day.)


Q. How does a nonprofit know who has donated to them and how much? Can I download a donations report?

All nonprofits that participate in Give Big Kern will be able to access and download a .CSV file of their donations via their admin dashboard on GiveGab. The report is updated in real time and will include the donation payout date for bank account reconciliation, donation information (including a breakdown of the fees), and the donor's name and contact information. Click here to learn more.


Q. How can our nonprofit be most successful with the Give Big Kern event?

We help every nonprofit make the most of their Give Big Kern experience through virtual training workshops, instructional videos, a Nonprofit Toolkit full of helpful tips, tools, and downloads, and FREE marketing materials in English and Spanish. The more of these resources you access and put to use, the more successful your Giving Day will be. View and register for workshops here. Also, be sure to access the Give Big Kern Events Calendar to prepare for and promote Kern County’s giving day.


As our 2020 Give Big Kern Report to the Community shows, the greater the nonprofit community’s involvement is in Give Big Kern through participation in highly visible, creative, fun activities, the better the results are in dollars raised, volunteers recruited, and board members and donors engaged. These activities include Peer-to-Peer Fundraising and Matching Gift Campaign Strategies that involve individual or corporate sponsors or "donor angels," and are proven best practices to multiply dollars raised several times over. Make sure you review training materials related to Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and Matching Gift Fundraising strategies.   


Q. If I still have questions, who can I contact?

You can reach out to our nonprofit support team by emailing info@givebigkern.org.


Q. When I check the box on GiveGab to declare state charitable solicitation registration compliance, what am I attesting to?

When you check the box you are attesting (defined as "declaring that something exists or is the case") that your organization is compliant with applicable state fundraising requirements in the states in which you may solicit donors using the GiveGab platform.


Q. Why is state charitable solicitation registration compliance important?

We require this with your nonprofit’s best interest in mind. While 501(c) nonprofits receive key financial benefits, the penalties for noncompliance can be serious and include fines or the revoking of a nonprofit’s tax exemption by the IRS. Taking a proactive approach to remain in compliance helps ensure the sustained success of the organization. 


Q. Do you have additional resources to reference about state charitable solicitation registration?

Yes! Here are a few more resources from Harbor Compliance to help you:


Q. Why do you require the last four digits of the nonprofit administrator's Social Security number and date of birth for a nonprofit's donation payouts?

GiveGab is an online platform that collects, processes, and distributes money in the form of donations from supporters to organizations and are required to abide by the compliance laws that are part of the Patriot Act.

Under these laws, GiveGab must verify that nonprofit administrators are who they say they are and an authorized agent of the nonprofit.

Collecting this information helps us streamline donation processing and payouts with the payment processor (Stripe) and the financial institutions that they work with.

More importantly, we have a duty to our users that when they choose to support a cause with a monetary gift, that money is going where they expect it to go. You can read a full explanation here, including how this information is stored.


Donor FAQ

Q. What is Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern is “One day to celebrate the giving spirit of Kern County.” It provides a great opportunity for Kern’s generous community to come together to raise dollars and volunteer hours for local nonprofits through online crowdfunding and pledges. In preparation for Give Big Kern, participating nonprofits receive training on online fundraising, marketing, social media, board engagement, donor cultivation and more.  Cash prizes are awarded to nonprofits that perform well in fundraising, volunteer recruitment and donor/board engagement through Give Big Kern. In 2019 and 2020, Give Big Kern received our community’s distinguished Beautiful Bakersfield Award for helping to create “A Better Bakersfield”!