As part of an evaluation of the California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) Program, we assessed the extent to which coalitions implementing the healthy cities and communities model demonstrated capacity to leverage financial resources, expand programs and influence organizational policies. The evaluation design was a multiple case study of 20 participating communities with cross-case analysis. Participating communities spanned the state’s diverse geographic regions and ranged from remote areas within rural counties to neighborhoods within large cities. Data included: semi-structured interviews with coordinators and community leaders, focus groups with coalition members and document review. Many CHCC coalitions were able to leverage significant financial resources across a diverse array of funding sources, including federal, state, county and city governments. In addition, all CHCC coalitions developed at least one new program, most commonly focused on youth development, civic capacity-building or lifelong learning. Changes in policies, reported by 19 of the 20 coalitions, were consistent with healthy cities and communities principles and were implemented in community-based organizations, county and city governments, and school districts. Typical changes included an increased willingness to collaborate, increased emphasis on engaging diverse parts of the community, greater responsiveness to community needs and more opportunities for resident input into decision-making. Our findings suggest the healthy cities and communities model has the potential to strengthen the organizational infrastructure of communities to promote health.