Evaluation Briefs: Together Toward Health’s Community-Driven COVID Response

  • Together Toward Health
    Harder+Company Community Research
    Ross Strategic
Group of essential workers with masks

PHI’s Together Toward Health (TTH) is a statewide initiative that supports over 500 community-based organizations (CBOs) that work on reducing the spread of COVID-19 by strengthening COVID-19 education, testing, and vaccination access across California’s most impacted communities.

Since launching in 2020, TTH has disbursed over $33 million through 251 awards to 548 CBOs including churches, health centers, community centers, local coalitions and more—who then serve as trusted experts for COVID-19 education, testing and vaccination access in their communities.

Evaluation Briefs

PHI engaged Harder+Company Community Research and Ross Strategic at the onset of the initiative to evaluate the impact of Together Toward Health. The evaluation used a mixed methods approach, incorporating quantitative data and narrative stories, to summarize TTH-funded activities, explore the implementation of the TTH model, and identify community-level impact of TTH funding on addressing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. See the evaluation briefs: 

TTH community based workers

Together Toward Health: Workforce Development

TTH has invested $2,480,000 into workforce development, assisted 265,865 individuals through workforce development initiatives and curated 130 training sessions and webinars. This brief describes ways in which the trajectory of the workforce strategy evolved and changed over time to adapt to a shifting pandemic. This report brief encompasses the concentrated effort TTH implemented to provide skill development opportunities for workers responding to COVID-19 in a public health capacity; these efforts are typically cohort-based, locally-focused and include support such as resume building and career support. Professional development includes broader training, webinars, and other professional development opportunities.

see the brief

group of people talking

Amplifying Impact through Collaborative Partnerships

CBOs that TTH funded have formed networks with funders and have begun to meet with collaborators to discuss opportunities to address other public health issues. For example, 11 CBOs formed a new coalition during their work with TTH and they shared that by partnering together to form the coalition, they were able to hire a community health worker and create a committee to hire people to help the community. This brief describes the nature of those partnerships and the impact they had on communities. This report brief refers to relationships and collaboration that occurred between formal and informal contributors to the TTH initiative, including funded CBOs, local health departments (LHDs), TTH staff, TTH funders, state agencies, and other organizations in the community such as faith-based groups, etc.

see the brief

CBO workers

Value of Flexible Funding in the Together Toward Health Model

TTH used an intentional, data-driven process to select priority communities and which organizations to fund. This brief focuses on the benefits and challenges of the initiative’s approach of providing flexible funding to grantees. At the onset of the work in 2020, TTH identified and prioritized 27 California local health jurisdictions, as well as statewide tribal and Native American organizations, that were in high need of COVID-19 prevention and intervention. Since its inception, the funder collaborative prioritized a model of fast and flexible funding to quickly scale a statewide COVID-19 response.

See the brief

community health workers in field

Value of Pooled Funding and Multi-Funder Collaboration

TTH emerged in the summer of 2020 when an initial coalition of funders committed to agile grant-making to expand and deepen the COVID-19 response in California. At the start of TTH, 11 philanthropies joined together as a funder collaborative and raised approximately $20 million. Over time, a total of 25 funder organizations joined TTH and raised roughly $40 million. PHI agreed to be the anchor organization and provide fiscal sponsorship and operational support. Funders shared that a pooled funding approach through the TTH funder collaborative was attractive because it helped focus the work on a shared vision anchored in public health principles.

see the brief

2022 TTH Impact Report

In 2022, TTH worked with local health departments to identify and fund community-based organizations (CBOs) that focused on the communities most impacted by the pandemic, while providing other needed support to maximize impact. From 2020-2022, TTH has granted more than $33 million reaching over 548 CBOs, supporting everything, from vaccine outreach and education to language support, transportation, food distribution, and more.


Originally published by Together Toward Health

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