path to equity

2021 Impact Report

a letter from leadership

2021 brought the continuation of challenges incited by COVID-19, and further highlighted the inequities embedded in our nation, especially those experienced by Black and Brown community members.

path to equity

2021 Impact Report

a letter from leadership

2021 brought the continuation of challenges incited by COVID-19, and further highlighted the inequities embedded in our nation, especially those experienced by Black and Brown community members.

2021 brought the continuation of challenges incited by COVID-19, and further highlighted the inequities embedded in our nation, especially those experienced by Black and Brown community members. 

In last year’s report, we promised to deepen our commitment to racial equity. In 2021, equity and inclusion were core values throughout all of our programming. We intentionally supported minority owned small business, local minority developers, and Black and Brown residents in our neighborhoods. We continue to grow and learn along this path to equity through equity-focused staff training and continuous reflection. 

Over the course of 2021, we also enriched our partnerships at every turn and grew our organization by adding new talent and capacity. We brought true alignment and cross-collaboration to our initiatives in order to address the multiple and complex needs of those we serve.

In this interactive report, you will see that we directly invested—with your help—more than $4.2M in neighborhoods, leveraged an additional $8M, and built upon the work we achieved in 2020 by strengthening and expanding our portfolios. In 2021, we:

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Began to fully implement our Centralized Real Estate Accelerator model, investing in 80 small businesses, 60 local developers, and 12 community organizations. One such project, Big Tom’s Barbershop, represents a culmination of 18 months of work with our partners at the URA and elsewhere to bring $1.94M of equitable development and community wealth-building and ownership to the Hill District;

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Brought the Fund My Future PGH children’s savings program to Neighborhood Allies, which has increased outreach efforts and access to additional resources through our wide range of adjacent programming;

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Created an innovative Organization-in-Residence model, aimed at elevating local, Black-led nonprofits by strategically interrupting inequitable patterns of resource distribution in the sector. Black mental health organization Steel Smiling is the first participant, and this transformational capacity building model has provided Steel Smiling access to Neighborhood Allies’ complete organizational infrastructure, such as Accounting and revenue strategy development, Communications, Human Resources and more;

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Began serving as the convening organization for the Pittsburgh Housing Preservation Working Group, working to connect affordable housing developers, funders, government and elected officials, and other key stakeholders;

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Released our Equitable Recovery Playbook, which is designed to activate American Rescue Plan dollars and direct resources into communities that need them most by guiding regional decision-makers;

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Developed our Social Impact Design Model, which aims to make “good” design accessible to historically disinvested communities by extending the capacity of local organizations and community groups, and for-profit designers;

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Continued to bring equity to the forefront of all that we do. We’ve added resident members to our Investment Advisory Committee, expanded our internal equity team and created organizational equity goals, and implemented our RISE HIGH Grant Partnership Program to support the equitable and inclusive revitalization of our communities through trust-based partnerships.

In 2022, we will continue strengthening our programs on all fronts, scaling our work to address the root causes of inequity and injustice, and ultimately progressing toward our North Star Goal of moving 100,000 low-income Pittsburghers up the socio-economic ladder by 2031.

Thank you to our committed staff, Board of Directors, funders, and partners. Without your dedication, passion, and commitment, we could not carry out the difficult work that we do.

To all of our supporters, volunteers, funders, and investors, we are grateful for your generosity and trust. Without you, we could not work towards our vision for all neighborhoods to be thriving, resilient, and equitable for all.

With Gratitude,

Presley L. Gillespie, President and CEO

Sallyann Kluz, Board Chairperson

In 2021, we invested more than $4 million into Equitable Development Activities

We invested $500,000 into RISE HIGH Grantee-Partners

Our Economic Opportunity Initiatives have helped build more than $1.4 million in savings for clients
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