The ecosystem of Helena’s Core Members, Brain Trust, and partnership network
produces countless actionable ideas.
Helena works to make them a reality.
Helena projects begin in Helena meetings, where members collectively challenge orthodoxies and develop ideas. Members then bring these ideas to Helena, where they are evaluated by Helena’s staff and advisors on the basis of their philanthropic merit and practical feasibility. These criteria determine which ideas become initiatives.
A minority of ideas are launched as full Helena projects - large scale, semi-independent ventures fully staffed and operated by Helena. On occasion, initiatives are directed and operated by the members themselves, with Helena playing a supporting role.
The majority of Helena initiatives are purely philanthropic in nature. Because the most direct means of impact sometimes involve the capital markets, a handful of Helena projects are revenue generating, with profits directed back to Helena’s overhead.
This is doubly beneficial, since it enables Helena to reduce its dependency on outside donors over time, permitting a refocusing of time and energy on operating the organization.
Helena's projects are diverse and varied: a climate change prize, a youth voter engagement project, a non-profit accelerator dedicated to minority entrepreneurs, a nuclear security research initiative, and more. They share a unifying thread: each is about improving the world in some way, and each originates from the meetings of the members.
As Helena's projects become public, they are listed below.