path to equity

2021 Impact Report

path to equity

2021 Impact Report

About the organization-in-residence partnership

Steel Smiling and Neighborhood Allies collaboratively envisioned and operationalized the Organization-in-Residence model with the specific intention of elevating local, Black-led nonprofits by strategically interrupting inequitable patterns of resource distribution in the sector. The model has many parallels to business incubators in the for-profit space. The concept centers on the acknowledgement that smaller, aspiring nonprofit organizations often require space to iterate and innovate as they discover their own trajectories. These budding organizations also deserve to grow intentionally and receive guidance from a trusted partner or mentoring entity, instead of being pushed and pulled alone at the intersection of so many systems. The mentoring entity has more history in the local Community Development system and as such, ample “lessons learned” to be shared with other organizations. They also possess a robust network of human, social, and financial capital that can be leveraged for the growth of the smaller entity.

“Too often, the expectations and goals of nonprofits do not align with the complete investment it truly takes to make those goals and expectations a reality. We have created an investable model that allows nonprofits to think, operate and perform like their for profit counterparts. The OIR Model affords Steel Smiling access to our complete organizational infrastructure including, accounting and revenue strategy development, communications, human resources and more.”

– Presley Gillespie, President and CEO at Neighborhood Allies

What the Organization-in-Residence partnership provides:

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Access to Neighborhood Allies’ complete organizational infrastructure, such as Accounting and revenue strategy development, Communications, Human Resources and more

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Heightened capacity for Organization-in-Residence to meet the needs of those they serve by accessing Neighborhood Allies’ organizational infrastructure

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A holistic, more person-centered approach to community development by aligning programming, networks and reach.

Steel Smiling: An Organization-In-Residence of Neighborhood Allies

The launch of the Organization-in-Residence pilot program in 2021, represented the evolution and growth of a long-standing relationship between Neighborhood Allies and Steel Smiling, which is grounded in mutual respect and foundationally aligned missions, that until this point, were disconnected from an operational standpoint.

Less than a year in, the OIR model is already demonstrating its value and results – implementing many parallels to business incubators in the for-profit space. Steel Smiling, our Organization-In-Residence, not only has access to Neighborhood Allies’ complete organizational infrastructure including, accounting and revenue strategy development, communications, and human resources, they are also building a foundation and the sustainability needed to continue to serve community members to their highest potential and confidently advance their goal of exposing every Black resident in Pittsburgh to a positive mental health experience that improves their quality of life by 2030.

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