Our History

In 1988, the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation (RBCF) was founded to make Rancho Bernardo an even better place to live and work. As the organization became more successful, an endowment fund was established to provide funds for nonprofit community activities in Rancho Bernardo for decades into the future.

In 1993, RBCF’s first organized fundraiser was established — the “Pathway of Pride”. Donors of $1,000 or more benefit from an engraved granite plaque commemorating their donation set in the walkway around the lake in our beautiful Webb Park.

Other fundraising programs, including an annual Community Cruise and an annual Thanksgiving Community Luncheon, have generated more than $150,000 for our community, with 50% going to the endowment and 50% distributed to nonprofits serving Rancho Bernardo every year.

In 1996, RBCF became a proud affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, which invests our endowment, assists with managing our grant application process, manages our funds, and supports our events so RBCF members can make a difference in our community, now and forever.

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Become a Member

You can be remembered as someone who made a difference in the Rancho Bernardo Community by making a gift today that will meet tomorrow’s needs.

When you become a member of the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation, you make a difference for the causes you care about in this special community. Half of all membership dues go immediately into grantmaking efforts, while the other half goes into a permanent endowment to sustain future efforts for the good of the Rancho Bernardo community.

Matt McLaughlin established an endowment legacy fund at The San Diego Foundation that continues to make a profound impact on the North County region. The Matt McLaughlin Live Here, Give Here program supports membership dollars raised, growing Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation grantmaking from member contributions for our community.

Other member benefits include participating in grantmaking, board and/or committee leadership, attending events, and recognition in promotional materials. All members get one vote each year for the local grant applications they deem most worthy and valuable to Rancho Bernardo.

Join or Renew Your Membership

Contribute to an Existing Fund

You can make a contribution of any amount by writing a check to the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation. If intended for general charitable needs of the community, your donation will be placed in our endowment fund or non-endowment fund. Or, you may designate your gift for one of the following existing funds:

  • Pathway of Pride Program: This program recognizes individuals or groups who contribute $1,500 or more to RBCF. It is a great way for people of vision to contribute to the well-being of Rancho Bernardo and its citizens. Your plaque donation of $1,500 also includes 1 year of RBCF membership. Click here to learn more.
  • RB Emergency Reserve Fund: A reserve fund to be made available in the event of a fire, an earthquake or other community disaster affecting Rancho Bernardo for supplies, equipment and food.
  • RB Symphony on the Green Fund: Supports music and musical programs and projects in the Rancho Bernardo area.
  • RB Smith Scholarship Fund: Open to graduating high school seniors from Rancho Bernardo who will attend an accredited, public four-year university in the state of California. Special consideration will be given to applicants who have lost one or both parents while in high school.

Board of Directors


Debbie Kurth
Daniel Wilson
Grants Chair
Michael Ortiz
Dave Brooks
Pathway of Pride Chair
Bonnie Dowd
Kimberly Koll
Alex Lawn
Liz Mullarkey
Casa de las Campanas
Corporate Member
Palomar Health Foundation
Corporate Member
Rancho Financial Services
Corporate Member
Shea Realty
Corporate Member
See All Members

News & Events

2023 – 2024 Grant Cycle

The Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation awarded more than $100,000 to 25 nonprofit organizations that help make Rancho Bernardo a great place to live, work and play.

  • Bernardo Heights Middle School Performing Arts Boosters, Inc. – $3,789 for BHMS Orchestra New String Double Basses
  • Ed Brown Center – $4,500 for Senior Social Connections
  • Friends of the Rancho Bernardo Library – $3,000 for the Friends of the Rancho Bernardo Library Concert Series
  • Interfaith Community Services – $2,500 for Interfaith on Wheels
  • Let’s Light the Cross – $3,500 for Ongoing Maintenance
  • Poway OnStage – $8,000 for two Arts in Education programs
  • Poway Symphonette Foundation – $1,000 for Poway Symphonette Programming
  • Poway Symphony Orchestra Foundation – $3,000 for Symphonic Concerts
  • Rancho Bernardo High School – Student Services Department – $5,500 for Healthy Connections Program
  • Rancho Bernardo High School – Friends of the Library – $3,500 for 21st Century Library Technology Learning Center
  • Rancho Bernardo High School – Music Boosters Inc. – $4,903 for the RBHS Orchestra Musical Equipment
  • Rancho Bernardo Historical Society Inc. – $3,000 for Display Expansion and Enhancement
  • Rancho Bernardo Senior Services – $5,000 for Senior Services
  • Ride Above Disability Therapeutic Riding Center – $3,000 for New Horseback Riding Equipment
  • San Diego Art Institute – $2,500 for The Valise Project
  • San Diego Harmonics Chorale – $1,530 for San Diego Harmonics Ongoing Chorale Programming
  • San Diego Oasis – $5,000 for Intergenerational Tutoring in Rancho Bernardo
  • Spirit of the Fourth Inc. – $7,000 for July 4, 2024 Fireworks Celebration
  • Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) – $5,000 for Emergency Financial Assistance and Financial Planning for Military and Veteran Families
  • The Continuing Education Center at Rancho Bernardo – $3,000 for History Classes
  • Toby Wells YMCA – $5,000 for Teens in Motion programming.
  • Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego, Inc. – $4,000 for Crisis Intervention Volunteers Program
  • Tremble Clefs – $2,500 for Music Programming
  • Turtleback Education Foundation – $3,000 for Physical Education Programming and $2,500 for Music Programs
  • Voices for Children – $5,000 for Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program

See More Grantees

Contact Us

For more information or to join today, contact Trudy Armstrong, Regional Affiliates Director, at trudy@sdfoundation.org or (619) 764-8602.

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