Sarah Dieleman Perry
Director of Economic Opportunity (she/her)
Sarah Dieleman Perry is the Director of Economic Opportunity at Neighborhood Allies. Sarah created the Economic Opportunity focus area in 2014 in response to local and national racial and gender wealth gap data. These initiatives position families to access the resources and support they need to achieve long-term, sustained financial well-being and build generational wealth.
Under Sarah’s leadership and with the support of Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, Pittsburgh launched a Financial Empowerment Center initiative, which since 2019 has provided free, one-on-one financial counseling sessions to over 1,800 residents of Allegheny County. Sarah oversees the county-wide children’s savings program, Fund My Future PGH, which provides reminders, support, and incentives to nearly 5,000 families to save for their children in long-term savings accounts. Sarah launched the Bank On Allegheny County Coalition, working with 11 financial institutions to certify and promote checking accounts that meet the national standards. She directs a program that brings financial education and sole-ownership accounts to youth working their first jobs. And in 2022, Sarah created Money Talks, a program to teach Black women to invest in the stock market.
Sarah’s convening role at Neighborhood Allies includes the creation and oversight of the Asset Building Network, Bank On Allegheny County Coalition, and the Pittsburgh Coalition on the Intersection of Race, Disability, and Poverty in partnership with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the National Disability Institute. Each of these networks includes representatives from local social service agencies, financial institutions, government entities, and regulators.
Sarah is nationally recognized for her expertise in financial empowerment and wealth building. She was appointed in 2023 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the Community Advisory Board. She serves as a Community Champion and is on the Financial Security Network for Prosperity Now. Within PA, she participates in the Keystone Bank On Coalition managed by Pennsylvania Bankers Association. Locally, she is on the board of directors for Rising Tide Partners.
Sarah graduated from Calvin University with degrees in English and Philosophy, and she holds a Master’s degree in Economic and Social Development and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Media Publications and Contributions:
- Shelterforce: February, 2023 | Sarah contributed to an article published by Shelterforce, acknowledging the importance and role bank’s play in supporting and investing in community-serving organizations like Neighborhood Allies and the people living in LMI communities.
- Neighborhood Allies Blog: January, 2023 | A spotlight on our Money Talks Program and the impact it is having on local Black women.