Shanee Helfer

Shanee Helfer

In her role, Shanee helped cities implement community change in an inclusive and sustainable way, utilizing the Collective Impact Approach at the core of their vision and work.

Shanee Helfer joined Living Cities in August 2016 as the Senior Associate for Collective Impact, bringing 10 years of experience in the non-profit and public sectors.

Beginning her career in economic and community development with the City of New Brunswick, NJ, Shanee has an extensive background in designing and implementing innovative programs and initiatives. At United Way and the Council on Foundations, she worked to increase the adoption of the Collective Impact Approach by place-based grant makers, including nationwide Community Foundations and United Way chapters in the NYC Tri-State Region.

Before joining Living Cities, Shanee was with the City of New York implementing the Jobs-Plus program, bringing her experience and passion for impacting communities through systems-change to the forefront of work of an inter-agency collaboration focused on increasing wages and financial self-sufficiency for residents of public housing.

In her diverse roles in the non-profit and public sectors, Shanee worked to elevate awareness and usage of the Collective Impact approach. She continues to be inspired and motivated by the evolution and growth of organizations and individuals she has actively worked with.

Shanee holds a Masters Degree in Urban Affairs from CUNY, Hunter College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Certification in Public Sector Performance Measurement from Rutgers University. She resides in Jersey City, NJ where she is fulfilling her passion of urban gardening and supporting local food entrepreneurs in the farm to table movement.

Shanee Helfer

Contributing Articles

Navigating Collective Impact through a Mayoral Transition

Lessons and resources from Albuquerque around sustaining cross-sector work through a mayoral transition. On Wednesday 5/15, Living Cities and Albuquerque, NM cross-sector leadership will present at the Collective Impact Forum. Their session titled “Navigating Collective Impact through a Mayoral Transition” will take place on from 10:30 – 11:45 AM CT. Follow along and join the conversation using #CIConvening and @CIForumTweets, and in …

Centering Community in Collective Impact

Through a decade of place-based work, we’ve gathered these tools and lessons for bringing community voice into the collective impact model. How can these apply to your own work? Through our place-based work over the last 10 years, Living Cities has been testing and building on the 5 pillars of the Collective Impact approach, as defined by FSG in 2010. Through our …

Navigating My White Israeli Identity in a Racialized American Society

“Our nation is a melting pot of people from all over the world, and that is what makes this country great.” As an immigrant growing up in the United States, I understood the above refrain to mean that my experience would be welcomed and celebrated as I joined a new nation of people. Later, in high school, the melting pot …

Progress Takes Data Discipline: Where Do I Start?

Cities are awash in data. How can practitioners cut through the noise when working to improve outcomes for communities of color? Here are five tips, plus real-world examples, that may help.

Contributing Resources

A Path to Authentic Community Engagement Guiding Questions

An equity-driven collective impact movement should seek to disrupt and reform unequal power dynamics. To meaningfully reform those systems requires engaging communities in the social movement itself. One of the most important roles of the collective impact table is facilitating and supporting capacity building in communities. The goal of this work is to nurture and leverage civic power and place …

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