The Burgergemeinde Bern holds no public territory and does not enjoy fiscal sovereignty, but it is recognised by the constitution of the canton of Bern as a statutory corporation and is subject to communal law. It is a "community of persons" rather than a "territorial municipality" of residents. The Burgergemeinde Bern is made up of 17,676 members of the 13 societies and guilds, plus burghers not affiliated with a guild.
That portion of the Burgergemeinde Bern's assets and income which does not go towards public welfare is subject to taxation. The Burgergemeinde funds a wide range of social, cultural, scientific and ecological projects and institutions which benefit everyone living in Bern. Its income is generated through land ownership and includes the profits of the DC Bank.
Along with the Natural History Museum, the institutions funded by the Burgergemeinde include a hospital, a children's home, a library and the cultural venue "Casino Bern". The Burgergemeinde also runs the DC Bank and the "GenerationenHaus" - a multi-generational centre providing services for old and young.