| Copyright Dominique Clément / Clément Consulting

State Funding for Social Movements


The State Funding for Social Movements project is a five-year study that examines (a) the history of state funding for social movements in Canada; and (b) how the relationship between state funding and social movements differs across movements, regions, and time periods. The research for this project was divided into three parts: (i) documenting the evolution of federal and provincial government policy towards NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in Canada; (ii) assessing the impact of state funding on NGOs’ strategies for social change; and (iii) creating a public database of public funding for NGOs in Canada.

One of our deliverables is a public digital archive and database that documents funding from governments in Canada since 1960 to NGOs. The first stage of the project, which was completed in 2019, was scanning the transfer payments section of the publication Pubic Accounts for British Columbia, Federal and Nova Scotia governments every year between 1960 and 2014. Over 20,000 pages were scanned and processed using optical-text recognition software. Grants to organizations for Aboriginal peoples, the environment, human rights and women were extracted and uploaded to the database. The database includes a searchable archive of the original transfer payments documents extracted from Public Accounts for the years 1960 to 2014 for these three jurisdictions as well as other provinces in Canada. The final stage, which is under development, is to expand the database to incorporate additional datasets that includes funding from all three levels of government across Canada.

The following video, produced in 2017, provides a 5 minute introduction to our project:

This project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

It has also received generous financial support from the University of Alberta Library’s Digital Initiatives, the Arts Resource Centre and the Kule Institute for Advanced Studies.


Studies on funding social movement and nonprofits. Last updated: May 2017.   ... learn more +


Recent developments, news and resources relating to the study of social movements in Canada. Includes research funding, institutes, conferences and m... learn more +