The DNB Savings Bank Foundation is an independent Norwegian foundation. Our objective is to contribute to philanthropic causes in Norway.
The Gran Boathouse by the internationally renowned contemporary artist, Rachel Whiteread, in Røykenviken in Hadeland. The art work is included in the project Skulpturstop. (Photo: Sverre Chr. Jarild).
Over the years Norway’s savings banks have always donated a percentage of their profits to the local communities in which they have operated. Sparebankstiftelsen DNB is continuing to pursue this tradition.
The foundation is the second largest owner of Norway’s largest financial group, DNB, and use the dividend for philanthropic purposes. Since we were founded in 2002, the foundation has contributed more than NOK 8 billion towards philanthropic purposes.
What do we contribute to?
The foundation’s main contributions are providing grants to projects supporting children and young people, up to about 25 years of age.
The grants are mainly awarded to organisations, based on applications. We receive more than 5000 applications annually through our digital application system. Approximately 40 percent of the applications receive grants. The board of the foundation decides all allocations of funds.
We award grants to projects throughout Norway, but the foundation’s Statutes stipulate that when allocating grants, reasonable consideration should be given to the national origins of such funds, which is Eastern Norway. Thus, over time, at least 75% of the foundation’s allocations and investments will go to our geographical core area: Østfold, Oslo, Akershus, Oppland, Buskerud, Vestfold and Telemark, and Ringsaker municipality in Hedmark. Furthermore, we also fund initiatives of national importance.
In addition to grant making, the foundation makes non-profit investments by buying art that is deposited in Norwegian museums, as well as string instruments that are lent to leading Norwegian musicians. The foundation also runs the culture house Sentralen in Kvadraturen in Oslo.
Moreover, in 2016 the foundation entered into an agreement to purchase Amedia, Norway’s largest publisher of local media titles, and established the Amedia Foundation as owner of the media group. The foundation was established to ensure long-term and stable ownership of Norwegian local newspapers.
Our areas of donations
We have four areas of donations, and support projects which aim towards:
Arts and culture
– Enable creative expressions, at all levels.
– Attracting new types of audience.
– Strengthen the arenas where the public meets the art.
Local communities and cultural heritage
– Create inclusive meeting places and active local communities.
– Increase belonging for vulnerable children and young people.
– Encourage craft traditions and knowledge of history for new generations.
– Measures to protect democratic values.
Nature and Outdoor life
– Encourage interest in the outdoors and nature
– Increase knowledge of natural science
– Strengthen nature conservation and awareness of climate change
Sports and play
– Contribute to the development of sports and play activities, improved organizing, increased competence and talent development.
– Contribute to better arenas for sports and activities.
Within the four areas of donations, we grant financial support to projects which have long-term value, are open and accessible and wanted by many in the local communities and are based on voluntary commitment.
The capital basis
The foundation’s capital, is the result of almost 200 years of well-managed banking operations, and originates from the Gjensidige NOR Sparebank, which later on merged with DNB to form the DNB Group.
The foundation was formed in 2002 when Gjensidige NOR Sparebank was converted into a limited liability company. The bank’s core capital was converted into shares and the authorities decided that any capital not in the possession of external owners should be owned and managed by a foundation.
The foundation’s capital consists of the accumulated profits that have resulted from the savings bank’s operations ever since Christiania Sparebank was established in 1822.
Our two objectives:
– To be a long-term owner of DNB.
– To preserve the traditions pursued by Norway’s savings banks, of donating a percentage of its profits to charitable causes.