Project Ploughshares

Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies
Conrad Grebel College
Waterloo, ON N2L3G6

Founded by Alan and Joyce Phillips


The Anti-Nuclear-War Fund (hereafter the Fund) was founded in November 1990 by Alan and Joyce Phillips of Hamilton, Ontario. They expressed their concerns and rationale for initiating the Fund as follows:

"The very existence of nuclear weapons and particularly their deployment ready for use, constitute an unacceptable danger to humanity. Prevention of nuclear war between nations or alliances with combined arsenaLs of over 100 megatons is of the greatest urgency because such a war would probably destroy the civilizations not only of the belligerent countries but of the whole hemisphere. We feel that support for projects that focus on large arsenals is therefore to be given special consideration. For projects related to similar member countries of alliances that have large arsenals, and projects in other countries (with or without nuclear weapons), consideration should be given to their possible influence in reducing the arsenals.

We believe that at present, the main reason for the arms race, and for the continued manufacture of nuclear bombs and other weapons of war beyond any sane concept of the need for deterrence, is not really conflict between ideologies or between other interests of nuclear weapons states. Rather, we believe it is the vested interests of those who benefit from continuing arms production, research, and development. An informed public opinion demanding removal of this menace is needed to counteract these vested interests.

Conversion of military production and research facilities to civilian and socially beneficial actiVities is essential in order to avoid determined and powerful opposition to reduction of military Expenditure, by those with vested interests, including careers, profits, and job security. A great change is also required in the training of the armed forces, as there is no purpose in planning to fight a major war which would inevitably become nuclear and terminate our civilization. There are peacekeeping and emergency relief functions for which the resources of the present forces and their trained personnel would be immensely valuable.

Our reason for not supporting attempts to survive nuclear war, or to make it less probable while maintaining nuclear arsenals, is that we see such actions as tending to induce public acceptance of the weapons.

An accidental or inadvertent nuclear war seems to be far more likely than deliberate action calculated to start a major nuclear war by any of the countries with many nuclear weapons. The damage that would be caused by nuclear war is so enormous that even the slightest risk of it is unacceptable.

We are very aware of many other evils in the world, such as violation of human rights, international injustice, racial oppression, and damage to the environment. We see the great human importance of work to lessen these evils, but we regard prevention of major nuclear war as being of enormously greater urgency. Prevention of war between nations with smaller numbers of nuclear weapons is very important, but to a lesser degree. We are not impressed by general arguments that, because nuclear war, all wars, and these other evils are interconnected, opposition to all of them should be given equal priority. If a major nuclear war occurs, the results of all other good works will be nullified permanently."


In the five years since the founders' statement was written, there have been significant changes in the international situation. The immediate risk of a sudden end to civilization from a major nuclear was has been reduced greatly. The founders' view is still that nuclear weapons are the greatest danger to the human race, although the danger is not as immediate. The largest arsenals of weapons deployed ready for use have been significantly reduced, but the USA, France, Britain, China, Israel, Russia, and several states of the former Soviet Union still have enough weapons so that any two of them at war could cause nuclear winter. However, the warheads mounted on rockets are said no longer to be targeted on cities, at least by Russia and the USA; as long as this is true, an accidental major nuclear exchange is unlikely.

Apparently the states with nuclear weaPons plan to keeP them indefinitely, and US policy is to retain a dominant world position in numbers of nuclear weapons. No empire in the past has survived. The invention of nuclear weapons has made it inappropriate to predict the future from historical.experience, but it seems most unlikely that the USA will be able to dominate the world forever. If it still has nuclear weapons when it is challenged by a comparable superpower or alliance, nuclear war or a standoff similar to the one we have just endured will result.

Until nuclear weapons are abolished, a catastrophic nuclear war resulting in the end to human civilization, and perhaps the human race, remains the greatest possible manmade disaster. Still, the situation now is less urgent than it was when the founding statement of the ANWF was written. In fact, humanity has been lucky and has survived the "Cold War" between the USSR and the USA.

The priorities of the ANWF are not much changed, except that the urgency of projects directed towards immediate reduction of the largest nuclear arsenals is less overwhelming. There will be occasions when longer-term projects and projects towards prevention of use of small numbers of nuclear weapons can be considered along with those more directly aimed at the ultimate goal of the ANWF, which is unchanged: namely, elimination of nuclear weapons from the world.


The purpose of the Fund is to helP finance projects that aim to reduce the risk of nuclear war, principally by working for an immediate and continuing reduction of nuclear weapons made, stored, and deployed in the world. The primary goal of the Fund is the reduction of nuclear weapons, and its ultimate goal is their complete elimination, worldwide.

The Fund will not support projects by organizations that plan for surviving nuclear war, for example by advocating or planning shelters, evacuation of target areas, interception of missiles, or deterrence either by nuclear weapons or by other weapons of mass destruction or slaughter. Nor will it actively support attempts to render inadvertent war less probable while maintaining current levels or increasing the deployment of nuclear weapons.


Grants will be awarded to projects that advance the purpose and goals of the Fund. The Fund primarily supports specific projects and does not normally fund ongoing operating costs, such as staff salaries and routine overhead expenses. Without limiting the possible methods of working towards the stated goals, the following list illustrates the type of projects that would be supported.

1. Education of individuals and groups, including the general public and decision-makers,on the medical, social, and ecological consequences of the explosion of single or multiple nuclear weapons. Non-violent actions against nuclear weapons or against preparations for deployment and use of them, are acceptable modes of education.

2. Projects to educate the public and decision-makers about the unacceptable risk of accidental or inadvertent nuclear war.

3. Projects that work towards conversion of military production and research facilities to civilian and socially beneficial activities and towards a change in the training of the armed forces to peacemaking and emergency relief functions.

4. Establishment of Nuclear-Weapons Free Zones, and enforcement of existing ones.

5. Non-offensive defence, alternative defence, and common security (but not military alliances) are concepts that merit support, in so far as they favor immediate reduction of nuclear weapons by nations now possessing them, and exclude a threat of retaliation with nuclear weapons as a means of defending security.

Because the situation is one of immediate danger, much lower priority is assigned to the following two items. They can be endorsed if they are efforts towards the ultimate goal of the Fund, but they must be regarded as very long-term and too slow in effect to materially reduce the present risk.

6. Projects aimed towards bringing up children with emphasis on cooperation rather than competitiveness, provided this is not coupled with uncritical acceptance of authority.

7. Research and Education on the causes of armed conflict, methods of prevention other than deterrence by threat of military retaliation, and alternative methods of resolution of conflicts.

Major criteria that can over-ride these priorities are the merits of the project and its chances of success in achieving its immediate goals. The committee will also consider whether support by the Fund would or would not be critical for the initiation or continuation of the project.

Proposals by Project Ploughshares are to be considered for grants on the same basis as proposals from other organizations.


1. That support from the Fund be acknowledged;

2. That copies of any published, filmed or video material bc sent to the Fund, and public access to them be assured.



Application forms are not used. Applicants should provide the following information:

a) Applicant Information
Name, address, telephone, and fax number of the organization
Attach a brief statement of the purpose and activities of your organization
Date of the application
Name, position and signature of the person responsible for the project

b) Project Information
- Objectives (including how the project relates to the purpose and goals of the Fund)
- Strategies and activities to achieve the objectives
- Starting and completion dates of the project
- Names and functions of the principal people involved in the project
- Evaluation criteria and planned follow-up activities
- Written or audio-visual materials used or to be produced
Endorsing or participating organizations (attach letters if appropriate)

c) Financial Information
- Full project budget
- Amount of grant requested from the Fund and how it will be used
- List of the other income sources and what amounts are confirmed

Send applications to:

The Anti-Nuclear-War Fund
Attention: Nancy Regehr
Project Ploughshares
Conrad Grebel College
Waterloo, ON N2L3G6 Canada
Tel: (519) 888-6541, ext. 268 Fax: (519) 885-0806


Disbursements from the Fund are to be drawn exclusively from its income, and not from the principal, unless otherwise instructed by the founders.


Disbursements from the fund are to be decided by the Anti-Nuclear-War Fund Committee. As it is often important to finance new Projects promptly, the committee may act by mail or telephone discussion. It will meet in person twice a year.


Projects requesting $1,000 or less:
applications received during the month will be discussed and decided by telephone during the last week of the month.

Projects requesting more than $1,000:
- application deadlines are March 31 and September 30;
- the committee will meet as soon as possible in April and in October to review the applications received.