The Society receives direct financial support from five sources: Fellows, Institutional Members, the Private Sector, Granting and Research Councils and Charitable Foundations and, for national and international project funding, governmental agencies.
Support from the Fellowship
Financial support from the fellowship has always been and continues to be the largest component of the Society’s annual revenue stream. This support takes the form of membership dues, annual and periodic donations, and testamentary gifts.
Fellows dues help to maintain the delivery of our programs and to fulfil our mandate. Dues are billed annually in April and cover the period of April 1 through March 31st. Dues are adjusted annually in accordance to the rate of inflation. For individuals who are retired from gainful employment, please contact us to qualify for the retired rate. Life time memberships are also available in lieu of annual remittances.
Traditionally, the annual subscriptions from the Fellows have supported the core activities of the Society, including the operations of the National Secretariat in Ottawa. More than 25% of the base funding of the Society results from annual membership dues.
In addition, each year a number of Fellows make voluntary donations to the Society. Many of these are targeted to specific projects or programmes, although a number are unrestricted gifts in support of the Society’s capital campaign. Some of these donations are one-off, such as the more than $750 000 raised in the late 1980s to establish the Society’s development fund. Others are recurring annual contributions by Fellows, either to support the development fund or to provide ongoing funding for initiatives like awards, lectureships, regional programs, Expert Panels and the Walter House Capital Campaign.
Throughout its history the Society has been the recipient of various forms of planned benefaction from its Fellows. Typically these gifts are meant to enable the Society or an Academy to undertake special activities, such as programmes, publications, and fellowships. In recent years the Society has received gifts of the following kind: (1) wills and bequests, (2) gift annuities, (3) gifts of the residual interests in property or charitable remainder trusts, (4) gifts of “Canadian Cultural Property,” (5) gifts of publicly traded securities, (6) gifts of life insurance benefits.
Support from Institutional Members
Since 2004, the Institutional Membership of the Society has continued to grow in number and expand in scope. Today, over 47 universities and one research council are Institutional Members of the Society. Membership dues from Institutional Members contribute to approximately 50% of the core funding of the Society. In addition to providing this core funding, Institutional members partner with the Society’s National and Regional Secretariats in the creation and sponsorship of programs and events.
In 2007 the Society launched Extending Excellence: The Campaign for Canada’s National Academy. The campaign was successfully completed in the Fall of 2011. The primary objectives of the campaign have been (1) to enhance the advisory role performed by the Society in providing expert advice to governments and (2) to create new initiatives that promote a culture of knowledge and innovation throughout Canada, principally through the increased involvement of students in the programming of the Society. This national campaign has had the support of the President’s Advisory Council and was managed by co-chairs Sandra Irving and Laurent Beaudoin. Funds raised and committed have led to the creation of new national and regional scholarships, to outreach programming and to the organization of the Atlantic Regional Chapter.
Granting and Research Councils and Charitable Foundations
Many programmes of the Society are co-sponsored by national granting councils such as the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), or by charitable foundations. The logistical and financial support arising from these partnerships is essential to the Society’s national and international programming and to the financing of some of the Society’s Expert Panels.
Government and Governmental Agencies
The general practice is for national governments to provide block base funding for their National Academies. This has not been the practice in Canada. Nonetheless, various governmental departments and agencies have contributed to sponsoring both national and international activities of the Society. For example, different governmental departments have contributed over the years to sponsoring the Society’s Annual Symposium. In addition, many of the key programmes of the Society have an international dimension. These include participation in projects with African academies, with the G8 National Academies and with the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS). Recently, governmental agencies such as the
International Development Research Centre (IDRC) have assisted in sponsoring the Society’s international development activities.