Sarah Greenberg started her career in banking but longed for something that would better engage her sense of purpose. “I learned a lot about financial services, but it just wasn’t fulfilling,” she says. “I wanted to do some good for the world.” She discovered economic development and community investment, transitioning to alternative financial institutions that make credit available to people and organizations that lack access to traditional bank financing. In 2014, Greenberg started her own part-time community and economic development consulting firm, Greenberg Strategies LLC, which she turned into a full-time business this past January. She provides consultation to social sector organizations and government entities to help them achieve community development goals; to attract financial resources to support affordable housing, small businesses and community facilities; and to survive and thrive during times of economic crisis. Recent events have put her services in high demand, providing assistance to organizations impacted by the pandemic.
“As a community development consultant, my goal is to help the helpers.”
– Sarah Greenberg
Founder, Greenberg Strategies LLC
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How did you first become interested in community investment?
In my early career, I worked in consumer banking. I learned a lot about the financial services industry, but it just wasn’t fulfilling. I wasn’t feeling like I was doing something good for the world. So I started to think about how I could apply those financial skills and make a positive contribute to the world. That was how I found community investment. It turned out be a perfect marriage of my financial skills and that desire to give back and do good for the community.
What do you find most rewarding about your career?
I think of it as helping the helpers. When I work with these organizations, I come in often during a crisis situation or a situation where they’ve hit a wall. They can’t figure out what to do next, and I’m able to get them over that hump to continue the great work that they do. I get to meet these people that are smart, dedicated passionate, who care about the work they’re doing, and I get the satisfaction of helping them.