A passion sparked in high school has turned into a career. Actually, a dream job.
In January 2017, Ivy Schneider, 35, helped launch Helix Strategies in Harrisburg.
Helix is a subsidiary of Harrisburg-based McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC’s community networking resources. Schneider said she put all the pieces together for execution, ranging from the logo to building referral relationships. She is the company president.
In her role at Helix, Schneider works with nonprofits, community-based organizations and social enterprises to raise funds and develop their leaders and programs. She said it is her dream job.
It’s also her first for-profit job.
Schneider has a track record of volunteer work that dates back to high school. The passion was ignited, she said, when she was the president of a community service club.
“I fell in love with organizing a board, recruiting and training volunteers and fundraising strategies. I didn’t know it was a job at that age”” Schneider said. “When I started college, I got a job at a domestic violence shelter working in fundraising and development, and I was hooked.”
Schneider was recently selected to receive the 2018 Women of Influence Community Achievement Award by the Central Penn Business Journal.
“I think I’m still in shock from receiving this award,” Schneider said. “I am honored and humbled.”
Over the last 15 years, Schneider led board development, donor and volunteer stewardship and evaluation efforts for several community-based organizations in Central Pennsylvania, including two children’s advocacy centers, a drug and alcohol treatment center, a community center, and a domestic shelter, she said.
Four years ago, she co-founded West Shore Young Professionals, a nonprofit that provides monthly professional development and leadership training and community service opportunities for professionals ranging from 23-40 years old in Central Pennsylvania.
Schneider currently volunteers with the Mid Penn Bank Young Professionals Advisory Board, York College Alumni Board, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Junior Achievement and the United Way Annual Campaign.
She has also volunteered for several organizations in the past. Schneider said she makes the time to make it all work.
“I make sacrifices, but it is all worth it. I want to be a part of creating a happy, healthy, safe community. I’m not the type of person to wait around for someone else. This community has given so much to me, and I do not take it for granted. There are so many people that need support in some way, and I’m thankful I have skills to make a difference in the nonprofit world,” Schneider said.
For the future, she said, she plans to focus her efforts on Helix and spend more time educating for-profits about the benefits of working with nonprofits and nonprofits on the importance of learning from for-profits and measuring their outcomes.
She also plans to continue her research related to victim’s rights and child abuse laws with the aim of influencing state policy.
In addition to her volunteer work and day-job, Schneider is also in the final stages of a doctoral program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in administration and leadership studies in the nonprofit and public sectors.
Last year, Schneider was recognized for her accomplishments as the recipient of the Central Penn Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, City & State PA’s 40 Under 40, and Leadership Harrisburg Area’s Extra Mile Award for 2018.