When I first moved to Edmonton from my hometown of The Crowsnest Pass, I spent two years as a volunteer at downtown service agency, The Mustard Seed Edmonton. I then went to university, completed my BA as a political science major, then came back to the Seed as a summer student. Through the course of that decade, I would work in a half dozen positions. In my last position as Managing Director, I facilitated the difficult merger of our organization with a much larger one in Calgary.
It was a decade that saw incredible growth in the scope and revenue generation of many non-profits in Canada. In this report (see screen shot to the right) "There is No Accounting for Landscape" published by The Institute for Non-Profit Studies at Mount Royal University College in Calgary, AB, author Cliff Spyker notes that government revenue sources grew from $54.3 B in 2000 to $124.6 B in 2008. A 129% growth rate- despite a significant recession.
This growth is largely due to a change in government policy- a shift towards government- contracted services. For more on what this has meant for Alberta's non-profit sector and social service delivery, read the full article here.