Equity and Inclusion in Action

2022 Impact Report

building capacity

Tackling problems from all angles by helping to break down financial barriers; bringing together the right people and resources at the right time.

Equity and Inclusion in Action

2022 Impact Report

building capacity

Tackling problems from all angles by helping to break down financial barriers; bringing together the right people and resources at the right time.

Students with Digital Upskilling

Small Businesses Connected with Resources

Community Organizations Engaged in Programs

Organizations with Increased Capacity

Partnerships Formed

Local organizations and minority entrepreneurs getting the support and resources they need to sustainably grow their ventures.

Comcast RISE | Selected as one of 3 local organizations by Comcast, we conducted outreach and provided hands-on, one-on-one application assistance to our vibrant network of women and minority-owned small businesses to apply for business grants from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund. Going above and beyond to get this money out to our neighborhood-based small businesses, instead of traditional outreach approaches, we hosted six in-person workshops across the region at local women and minority-owned small businesses as another avenue of support, where our team offered step-by-step guidance from registration through final submission. In addition to the workshops, we leveraged our partners and resources to offer attendees free headshots, product photography, and social media and business consults to attendees by First Sip Studios.  Our trusted counselors from the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) were also on site to help connect attendees with free financial counseling and resources.


Businesses Attended a Workshop


Businesses Assisted in Applying for Funding


Partner nationwide for Most Applications Submitted


Businesses in our Network Received Funding

Small Business Boost | With our partners, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and the national nonprofit, Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE Fund) we launched Small Business Boost, a new pilot to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs to one-on-one Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) financial counseling. This initiative helped 115 local entrepreneurs and small business owners in Pittsburgh improve their personal finances, better positioning them to access capital and achieve their business goals in 2022 alone!

Digital Inclusion & Innovation | With support from Verizon, in 2022, we connected over 6,400 residents with digital tools including free laptops, digital literacy and IT career skills, and internet access through our Level Up 412 Program. We also re-launched our digital inclusion initiative “Beyond the Laptops” focused on broadband adoption, access to devices, and skill-building tailored to the needs of individuals-from basic computer application skills, to certificates and training useful in IT careers. Working alongside our partners–University of Pittsburgh Community Engagement Center Hill District, the Homewood Children’s Village, the CCAC Homewood-Brushton branch, and Homewood-Brushton YMCA—we have built and sustained programming that brings technology and digital tools support to residents and businesses.

RISE HIGH Partnerships | Our RISE HIGH Grant Partnership program provides local organizations with an opportunity to partner with Neighborhood Allies to achieve measurable equity and inclusion results in the Pittsburgh area. In 2022, we supported nine organizations with grants and partnership:

How We Help Build Capacity

Level Up 412

Level Up 412 is an equitable-access initiative devoted to providing educational opportunities and coursework to those interested in careers in the tech industry. Created by Neighborhood Allies, funded by Verizon, we work in partnership with respected regional partners committed to bridging the digital divide, providing STEM learning to all ages and populations. Through our programming, we offer the tools, resources, and encouragement for all of our scholars to pursue fulfilling career opportunities in the growing tech industry.


The intention of the Organization-in-Residence program is two fold–to incubate a nascent and growing, Black-led organization to eventually launch as an independent non-profit entity and to bring a holistic, more person-centered approach to community development by aligning Steel Smiling’s Black mental health programs with Neighborhood Allies’ economic mobility and digital inclusion work.

Social Impact Design

Our Social Impact Design Program translates community visions and objectives into architectural design packages that ensure design and development projects are focused around what the community wants and needs. The Social Impact Design program advances placemaking, place-keeping, and community-driven real estate projects through an Equity-Centered Community Development lens – a process that is people centered and encourages designers to co-create with the community by empowering those who have historically been left behind. 

RISE HIGH Grant Partnership Program

The RISE HIGH Grant Partnership Program provides an opportunity for applicants to partner with Neighborhood Allies over a set period of time to achieve meaningful and measurable equity and inclusion results in the Pittsburgh area. This program provides grantee-partners with financial resources and technical assistance to enhance their organizational capacity. Organizational capacity includes a broad range of domains such as: Leadership, Management and Operations, Community Engagement, Program and Service Delivery, and Evaluation.

Get Online Grow Online

In partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, we launched the Get Online Grow Online (GOGO) program to aid businesses in implementing new, creative ways to reach their customers through online interaction. The goal of the program is to supply small businesses with personalized e-commerce solutions that will help them enter the digital marketplace.

Public Art and Communities

The Public Art and Communities (PAC) program is a partnership between Neighborhood Allies, the Office of Public Art, and the Borough of Millvale that supports the development of place-based strategies and temporary artworks that are responding to both the COVID-19 pandemic and its intersection with other critical public health issues. PAC engages artists to collaborate with communities to address their needs through public art and creative placemaking practices aimed to reenergize and reshape how residents imagine their neighborhoods.

The Partnership Network

The Partnership Network (TPN) is a coalition of nonprofit intermediaries committed to taking bold action in response to worsening regional wealth inequities. Collectively, TPN’s goal is to eliminate systemic inequalities through a more effective ecosystem of service delivery and resident empowerment. TPN members, and as a collective group, work at both the organization and resident-level with a commitment to being people-centered in their work.

Nonprofit Resilience Program

In partnership with The Partnership Network, we host The Nonprofit Resilience Program. The goal of this program is to strengthen individual leaders and their relationships with peers, ultimately improving organizational sustainability and capacity to achieve a greater impact.

Real Estate Co-Powerment Series

Launched in early 2017 and hosted by our partner Omicelo Cares, the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series is an education platform that demystifies the real estate development process, explains its associated terminology and brings to light the productive role community members and organizations play in the real estate and economic development inside their neighborhoods through a combination of in-class instruction, coaching, and mentorship.