Guidelines for allocation funds from Olav Thon’s DNT foundation – Olav Thons DNT-stiftelse
Velkommen til Olav Thon Stiftelsen otg-brand.svg

Guidelines for allocation funds from Olav Thon’s DNT foundation

Olav Thon’s DNT Foundation was established in 1991, and has since then contributed to the construction and renovation of a large number of cabins. The foundation has established a practice regarding the types of cabin projects that may receive funding. This practice is based on what Olav Thon expressed upon the establishment of the foundation, and has later specified, as well as the conclusions that have been drawn when assessing the various projects that have been considered over the years.

This overview has been prepared in order to make it easier for applicants to understand what types of projects are usually supported, and to assist the foundation’s board in the assessment of individual construction projects.


The articles of association provide general guidelines regarding the use of the foundation’s funds:

“Olav Thon’s DNT Foundation’s objective is to support the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) in its nationwide activities to promote mountain hiking and outdoor recreation in Norway. This shall be done in the spirit that has characterised Olav Thon’s interest in and enjoyment of the Norwegian mountains.

The foundation’s funds shall mainly be used in the construction and furnishing of cabins and emergency shelters in the mountains and surrounding areas, and for the marking and maintenance of the trail and route network, but may also be used for other purposes such as the promotion of hiking in Norwegian nature.” (Article 2)

“Projects that are provided with funding must be adapted to the needs of the Norwegian Trekking Association. Unless otherwise is agreed, the local trekking association (turlag) acts as the building committee.

The rights of ownership of the projects to which the foundation contributes fall to the local trekking association (turlag).” (Article 5)

Upon the establishment of the foundation, Olav Thon expressed that the funds should be used on cabins across the entire country. The funds shall benefit as many people as possible. Care has therefore been taken not to concentrate the allocation of the funds in any single area, so that cabin projects in other parts of the country are not negatively affected. Exceptions have been made for projects relating to the completion of longer routes featuring several cabins.


  1. General criteria

Support is provided for cabins of a simple standard, preferably unstaffed and self-service cabins. Support is primarily provided for new builds. The foundation may also provide contributions to the acquisition of cabins, old farmsteads and buildings, and the restoration of these. The foundation’s funds shall be used in the construction/restoration of the cabin itself, as well as any outbuildings. Expenses relating to fixtures and fittings are usually covered by the local trekking association (turlag).

  1. Location

The cabins shall be part of a route network, either in the mountains or surrounding areas. The cabins shall preferably shorten the distance between two existing cabins, make an area accessible to hikers, or extend an existing route. As a general rule, the cabins shall be situated a little ‘off the beaten track’ – they should not be linked to existing clusters of cabins, and should not be too close to roads.

  1. Cabin requirements

Aesthetics shall be emphasised. Adaptation to local architectural traditions is desirable. Effective, environmentally-friendly solutions are a prerequisite. Projects that promote energy-efficiency or reduce emissions are assessed as being particularly positive. The cabins should have a dedicated washroom, and an easily accessible WC solution is desirable.

  1. Internal standard

Projects to improve – to a simple standard – sleeping conditions or WC facilities can be supported. In general, the cabins should have a family-friendly layout featuring bunk beds and mattresses. Up to a total of NOK 500,000 of the foundation’s funds may be provided for equipment for the cabins each year – particularly mattresses and equipment to ensure good sleep/rest. The application deadline for this type of support is 15 September.

  1. Day trip cabins and smaller, serviced cabins

The foundation may support the acquisition/renovation of day trip cabins in local areas, especially if these are particularly important for the local population, if the cabin is situated in a highly frequented recreational area, or if the cabin is particularly important for the recruitment of children and young people.

Under exceptional circumstances, the foundation may also provide support for the acquisition and restoration of a smaller, privately serviced cabin that is essential to the maintenance of a route network that is otherwise in danger of being closed.

Likewise, the foundation may support the restoration of an existing smaller, serviced cabin if this is essential to ensure the future operation of the cabin and maintenance of a larger route network.

  1. Financing

The foundation shall contribute funding after opportunities for lottery funding and other public/private sources have been used. Projects for which voluntary efforts are significant and the construction costs modest will be prioritised. It is presumed that the local trekking association (turlag) will contribute with self-financing. Value-added tax shall not be included in the application beyond that which the member association incurs as an expense.

  1. Formal requirements

In the event of leasing, the lease agreement for the cabin shall have a duration of at least 25 years (preferably 40 years). Complete financial statements, audited by an auditor, shall be available before the funds are disbursed.

  1. Other criteria

The foundation may contribute funds for the improvement of trail marking, particularly signage on routes from a cabin. The foundation may contribute funds for the erection of emergency shelters where this is important for the safe use of an area. Even though it is up to the local trekking association (turlag) to decide, the foundation prefers that cabins be given a local name. Cabin projects especially adapted for children and young people, and where the cabin may be used by schools in particular, are considered especially positive.

  1. The application shall contain

  • Detailed cost estimate with specification of VAT
  • Lease agreement for leased ground or cabins
  • Map illustrating route/trails network
  • Map detailing public planning status in the area
  • Detailed map illustrating the cabin’s location, yard solution, etc.
  • Construction drawings (exterior and interior)
  • Financing plan
  • Scope of voluntary contributions