Our Project

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| Copyright Dominique Clément / Clément Consulting

This project evolved between 2014 and 2019. It involved five universities as well as dozens of research assistants. The team experimented with several techniques and technologies before developing an efficient system for extracting data from Public Accounts.

Thousands of pages were scanned and processed using optical-text recognition software and then converted into spreadsheets. These spreadsheets were processed using Google OpenRefine software to adjust for errors in formatting and spelling in order to identify funding patterns. Each page was then reviewed to manually extract individual entries based on names of organizations that match one of four movement sectors. The review included any organization associated with the four sectors, such as the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) or the Canadian Institute for Climate Studies. Whether or not an organization was included in one of the sectors was based on one of two factors: membership and/or mandate. Self-identified human rights or civil liberties organizations, for instance, were coded as human rights (e.g. Powell River Civil Liberties Association or B.C. Human Rights Council). Similarly, organizations were included if their primary mandate fit within one of these sectors, such as transition homes or family crisis centres. At the same time, organizations whose membership was primarily Aboriginal peoples or women were included, such as the Victorian Order of Nurses (although the mandate of the latter is not explicitly to advocate for women’s rights, it has historically been one of the most prominent women’s organizations in the country and often promotes women’s issues). If an organization fell into multiple sectors – for instance, the Native Women’s Association – it was counted in both categories. The data collection excluded grants to governments (e.g, municipalities), government agencies, individuals and for-profit organizations (see Data Entry for further details in our methodology).


Governments in Canada began funding large numbers of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the 1960s. Through funding, the state...


We are committed to reaching out and working with the community in their own spaces. Social movements produce their own unique knowledge....

Readings lists on the topic of state funding for social movements

All information sources from statefunding.ca and the database should be acknowledged by the User and cited as follows:


  • Clément, Dominique. “Title of Page or Document.” State Funding for Social Movements. Accessed [date accessed, e.g. 28 July 2020] www.statefunding.ca.


Clément, Dominique. State Funding for Social Movements Database. Accessed [date accessed, e.g. 28 July 2020] www.database.statefunding.ca

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