The GC Rieber Funds contribute to social welfare, the arts and research. The Rieber family has always acknowledged that the company GC Rieber AS is part of the wider community. This led to the establishment of the first GC Rieber Fund in 1929. Several Funds have been set up since, the most recent being Paul (Paal) Rieber’s Fond til støtte for utdannelse av supplerende terapier in 2012.
As at 31.12.2014 the GC Rieber Funds comprise the following six charitable foundations:
- G.C. Rieber og hustru født Gysins Legat til Bergens Vel
- P.G. Rieber og hustru født Martens Legat
- GC Rieber AS Understøttelsesfond
- Johanne Marie Rieber Martens Allmennyttige Fond
- Ragna Sofie og Chr. Riebers Allmennyttige Fond
- Paul (Paal) Riebers Fond til støtte for utdannelse av supplerende terapier
The primary objective of the funds, which are administered under the joint name of the GC Rieber Funds, is to support and develop projects for the public good in the Bergen region. From hundreds of applications for a range of causes, the board is currently giving priority to a number of larger projects. Some of these projects will continue to require funding and support for years to come. The funds are focusing especially on:
- Further developing the Helgeseter centre (an anthroposophical residential home and school for children with special needs) and building a new senior centre in its grounds
- Supporting children with special needs, including funding for Barnas Fysioterapisenter
- Care for the elderly, especially at the Centre for Elderly and Nursing Home Medicine (SEFAS) and the Dignity Centre (Verdighetsenteret)
- Further developing music therapy at the Grieg Academy (GAMUT)
- Research by establishing a biobank in the department of rheumatology at Haukeland University Hospital
- Outdoor pursuits and the provision of outdoor activities in recreational areas near the city by voluntary organisations
- The Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra – a spin-off from Ung Symfoni
- The GC Rieber Climate Research Institute, specialising in air pollution in the Bergen region
- Selected international projects aimed at poor and vulnerable children, with direct lines of contact with the projects
Norway is an expensive country due to high costs and an unwieldy bureaucracy. To be able to allocate as much funding as possible to projects for the public good, the board wishes to restrict administration costs to a maximum of 10% of the funding awarded. In order to simplify administration, work is underway to merge the three largest funds. They will continue to operate as the GC
Rieber Fund. The three smallest funds will remain independent funds and be managed under the name the GC Rieber Funds.
The ability to deliver concrete outcomes is key to selecting projects to fund. Many of the board members are therefore actively involved in priority projects.
Directly and indirectly the GC Rieber Funds own 27% of the company GC Rieber, and its employees therefore help generate profits which, in turn, allow extensive activities to be undertaken for the public good.
Over the last 15 years the Funds have contributed almost NOK 130 million to various projects of public benefit. The distribution was 47% to social projects, 26% to arts projects and 27% to research and development.
Although the board must always maintain the value of the Funds’ tangible assets, we are likely to be in a position to award between NOK 12 million and 15 million per year.