The Health Trust

Fall-Winter 2023
Project Location
San Jose, CA
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Market Analysis
Organization Type
Human Services


Founded in 1996, The Health Trust is an operating foundation that builds health equity in Silicon Valley for vulnerable populations by aligning its funder, provider, and advocate roles to maximize the impact in its focus areas of food and nutrition, chronic disease management, and housing support. 

The Health Trust is the second largest Meals on Wheels provider in Santa Clara County. In FY 2024, the organization plans to deliver more than 300,000 nutritious meals to more than 1,000 homebound residents, three times the yearly number of meals delivered pre-pandemic. Clients are typically low-income, homebound seniors ages 60+ and adults with chronic health conditions including congestive heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, COPD, and HIV/AIDS.


What can this Meals on Wheels provider in Santa Clara County learn from similar organizations in other regions about their effective fundraising strategies, particularly their partnerships with local VIPs/chefs?


During the pandemic, The Health Trust saw a dramatic increase in demand for Meals on Wheels, which was met by an increase in individual donations plus time-limited government pandemic response funding. As the organization enters a new fiscal year, it is experiencing rising food costs and lower donation revenues, plus a decrease in government funding for Meals on Wheels. As a result, Meals on Wheels needs to consider new fundraising and marketing strategies to sustain and diversify revenue.

Project Overview

The Health Trust would like an ACT project team to help it learn about effective fundraising strategies used by other Meals on Wheels programs in similar markets with similar budgets. Of particular interest are partnerships with local VIPs/chefs that are used by other Meals on Wheels programs to generate new donors/revenue. The ACT project team will contact Meals on Wheels providers and other nonprofits identified by the client that provide meals in other regions to address the following questions:

  • How did they go about starting new fundraising and marketing programs, and how do they staff these initiatives? 
  • How are they telling their story in effective ways?
  • What strategies do they implement to leverage local dignitaries, chefs, and other partners to raise their programs’ visibility and generate revenue? 
  • How do they leverage volunteer programs (e.g., one-time volunteers who deliver meals around the holiday season) into fundraising strategies? 
  • What are the revenues, expenses, and returns on investment of various fundraising strategies? 
  • What are the lessons learned and potential pitfalls to avoid? 


This is a Fast Track project:

  • Scope: Focused, specific organizational issue
  • Team Size: 3-4 consultants
  • Project Duration: 3 months
  • Estimated Time Contribution: 25-30 hrs total (per consultant)

Read more about the Fast Track Project Consultant role.