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CHW Health Disparities Initiative

1.4 Find Out What You Need

Do you have all the necessary resources to run your program?

Toolkit Tip

Start early! Pull together resources now, in the planning stages. This will allow you to better run your ideal heart health program.

Start thinking now about these resources:

Even if you do not know what kind of heart health program you want to run, it is a good idea to review these resources now. Keep them in mind as you plan. The more resources you pull together now in the planning stages, the more choices you will have to run your ideal heart health program.

Remember that each heart health program is unique. So, the resources needed to run them also vary. Be sure to adjust the suggestions in this section to your own local needs.

Helpful Handouts and Tools

Heart Health Materials

Be sure to download or order copies of the heart health materials you will need for your heart health program. We have limited quantities of most materials. If you are not able to obtain hard copies, PDFs are available for download.

Staff and Volunteers

You may work on your own or with a team. Teams can be made up of staff members, volunteers, or both. Be ready to handle the tasks below, since they are common to all heart health programs:

  • Manage. Get funding and other program support. Decide on program strategies. Get buy-in from and report to leaders in your organization. Plan the program. Find and work with partners. Oversee the program budget. Write program reports. Supervise staff and volunteers.
  • Coordinate. Oversee the ins-and-outs of the heart health program. This includes supervising outreach, recruiting, and teaching. It also involves keeping things running smoothly, writing program reports and doing the program evaluation.
  • Do outreach. Get the word out about your program and heart health in general. Find people who might join. Develop partnerships. Get to know the community. Help find solutions to barriers. Recruit.
  • Prepare and train. Find a meeting place, learn the material, practice, set up, teach, and help evaluate the program.

Ideally, you will want at least one community health worker (CHW) involved on your team. The heart health materials were designed with them in mind. Sometimes CHWs come from a team that exists within your organization, or you may need to seek them out if you are starting a new program. You can train new CHWs by using the same heart health materials that you will be using with the community.
Think about the kinds of skills, time, and effort needed to carry out the tasks listed above. Use the Figuring Out Your Human Resources pdf document icon (PDF, 106 KB) worksheet to do this.

Examples from the Field

Even though run by just two volunteer CHWs, the heart health program at Centro San Bonifacio in Chicago was offered both onsite and at other community-based organizations. They used Your Heart, Your Life as their teaching tool.

In-kind Support

When you get in-kind support it means getting support for free, typically through partners. In-kind support includes:

  • Goods, such as equipment, training space, and supplies
  • Services, such as someone’s time to help you

You can get in-kind support instead of donations of money. One example might be if one of your partners from the local heart association teaches a session with you. Since she does not charge you for her time, she is giving it in-kind. Space and equipment can also be provided to you in-kind. For example, that same partner lets you use space and computers for free to conduct trainings.

Many heart health programs have found it useful to build relationships with partners and other allies for in-kind support. Why?

  • Funders like to see that you are getting in-kind donations. This is because it shows that you are working with partners to provide services. It also shows that you do not have to rely only on grant funding. This helps to sustain your program.
  • It is often easier for people and organizations to donate their time, equipment, or space than for them to donate money.
  • You build partnerships by giving and getting in-kind support. You help each other because you are working as a team to achieve a common goal.

There are many types of people and organizations that can support your heart health program. Here are some examples:

  • A nutritionist from the health department offers to help you teach the session on healthy eating.
  • A CHW from a local clinic is skilled at coming up with fun activities. You ask her to run a workshop for you and your team on this topic.
  • A housing co-op agrees to lend you space, computers, and a projector.
  • A local church offers to provide free child care to the people in your program.
  • A local restaurant donates healthy food for your program.
  • Undergraduate or graduate interns from schools of nursing and public health provide resources for sessions (i.e., blood pressure screenings), marketing and promoting, data analysis, and evaluation of the program.

Use the Resources Tracking Form pdf document icon (PDF, 323 KB) to track your in-kind resources.


Small Donations

You may need support for the smaller things in your program, such as paying for snacks, child care, and giveaway items. Do not be shy about asking for donations of money. For example, the Lake County CHW Program in Florida received private donations from civic groups of different items that they would raffle off. At the Big Bend Health Area Education Center in Florida, the CHWs would successfully get donations by writing letters, making phone calls, and visiting local businesses, like pharmacies, grocery stores, and restaurants.

The Resources Tracking Form pdf document icon (PDF, 323 KB) will help you keep track of your donations.


You can raise money for your program in many ways. These can range from hosting a cook-off event to subcontracting with universities to run workshops for their students.

Here are some great examples of ways organizations raised money for their heart health programs:

  • Fundraiser Events
    • Organize a community dance and sell food. Contact a local radio stations to promote the event.
    • Host parties to celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, or Cinco de Mayo. Charge a nominal fee.
    • Host a Bingo night. Provide winners with donated gifts.
    • Sell food at church or community functions.
    • Host an auction with donated items.
  • Fundraiser Activities
    • Make and sell homemade crafts (e.g., jewelry, scrapbook crafts, dolls, knitted items, wood crafts).
    • Include a donation request in your organization’s newsletter.

Use the Resources Tracking Form pdf document icon (PDF, 323 KB) to stay on top of your fundraising efforts.


Some funders offer ongoing support for heart health programs. There is funding for heart health in general, healthy eating, stopping smoking, and physical activity. There is also funding for CHW programs. Funders include

  • Private foundations (local and national),
  • Public foundations (local and national),
  • County and city health departments, and
  • Federal agencies.


Your partners are also valuable resources. Who are your current partners? Which partners can help you develop and sustain your heart health program? Find answers to these questions. Assess your partner resources in Work with Partners.

Other Resources

These often include

  • Space where you can provide your program and child care;
  • Equipment, such as furniture, projectors, and computers; and
  • Vehicles to transport people to your program.

There are also many other resources that your organization may have and can let you use. These can help you have a successful heart health program. Talk with your organization’s leaders. See what they can provide for your program.

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Back to 1.3 Decide Who to Reach

Next: 1.5 Plan Your Sessions