a year of powerful change.

2020 Impact Report

Dollars deployed via community capacity building

Networks built and convened

Organizations with increased capacity

Number of People participating in grassroots initiatives

Without placing people at the foundation of our work, we risk applying brick-and-mortar, technical solutions to complicated, long-term social problems. By building community capacity, we empower residents to move upward with the economic development of their community. We accomplish this through the following methods:


Cultivating resident changemakers


Developing the skills of community organizations


Building strong networks and collaborations


Identifying and sharing community resources

Community Capacity lies at the intersection of all of our work. In 2020, we invested over $1.5M in building community capacity, including almost $110,000 in our Love My Neighbor! Program: a grassroots, resident-led initiative that places resources directly in the hands of those closest to the challenges – our residents.


With capacity-building support from Neighborhood Allies, Steel Smiling increased their budget and impact throughout 2020, inventively reimagining their programs to meet the digital needs of community members during a global pandemic.They also developed and launched two new and necessary programs designed to broaden mental health services in Allegheny County (Black Mental Health Fund and Steel Thriving). Finally, in the latter part of 2020, they began to more deeply plan, strategize, and explore collaborative conversations to further align Steel Smiling with Neighborhood Allies. Aside from serving as Steel Smiling’s fiscal sponsor, Neighborhood Allies has explored and secured joint fundraising efforts as we continue to share strategy, resources and ideas.