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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Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation Thanksgiving Luncheon 2023

The annual Thanksgiving Luncheon is Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation’s signature event. This must-attend event for RB community members has raised more than $90,000 in funding to nonprofits for more than 30 years. In addition to individual tickets, there are several opportunities for businesses and community groups to participate, ranging from $250 to $5,000. Join us as we celebrate our 35th year!

  • Date: Thursday, November 16
  • Reception: 11:00 am | Lunch: 12:00 pm
  • Location: The Rancho Bernardo Inn, The Aragon Ballroom, 17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr., San Diego, CA 92128

Click here for more information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities. For questions, please contact Debbie Kurth at (619) 206-2569 or debbiekurth@bsiincorp.com or Trudy Armstrong at (619) 764-8602 or trudy@sdfoundation.org.

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:

  • 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
Mary Karscig
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

2021 – 2022 Grant Cycle

The Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation awarded $80,000 to 18 organizations to enhance the quality of life for those who live, work and play in Rancho Bernardo.

  • Alzheimer’s San Diego – $1,000 to provide support groups and expert guidance to Rancho Bernardo dementia caregivers.
  • Burn Institute – $1,500 for Fire Safe Kids and Fire Safe Seniors.
  • Continuing Education Center at RB – $1,000 for History Class Series.
  • Elderhelp of San Diego – $5,000 for Care Coordination for Seniors.
  • Friends of the Rancho Bernardo Library – $2,000 for Rancho Bernardo Library Wednesday Concerts and $4,000 for Piano Improvement.
  • Interfaith Community Services – $4,000 for Improving Quality of Life for Low-Income and Homeless Residents.
  • Lets Light the Cross –  $1,500 for repainting the cross located on Battle Mountain.
  • Meals on Wheels – $5,000 for senior meal deliveries.
  • Poway Center for the Performing Arts – POWAY ONSTAGE – $3,500 for arts in education initiative.
  • Poway Symphony Orchestra – $3,000 for orchestra concerts.
  • Rancho Bernardo High School Friends of the Library – $2,000 for media learning and research.
  • Rancho Bernardo PTSA – $3,000 for Rancho Bernardo High School Grad night.
  • Rancho Bernardo Neighborhood Watch – $1,500  for Watch Sign program and continuing education.
  • Rancho Bernardo Senior Services – $4,000 for Collaborative Informational Services.
  • San Diego Parks Foundation – $4,000 for Wi-Fi for Glassman Recreation Center.
  • Spirit of the Fourth – $5,000 for fireworks and $2,000 for sound engineer, band fees and sound system costs.
  • Voices for Children – $5,000 for the 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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