Connecting Communities in the Americas

Connecting Communities in the Americas
Photo©Bahram Mark Sobhani
At CCA, we connect community foundations and partners across the Americas to foster trust and promote resilience in ever-growing transnational communities.

Para ver esta página en español, visite Conectando comunidades en América.

Transnational communities, or those whose residents have a sense of “home” in more than one country, are often invisible — in public policy decisions, in news media, and even in community foundation programming. Launched in 2016 by community foundations and partner institutions, Connecting Communities in the Americas (CCA)’s mission is to inspire and strengthen community foundations and partners for local impact as they address issues that transcend borders.

We believe this can be done by establishing a network of peer organizations across the Americas focused on deepening their understanding of and engagement with transnational communities’ lived experiences. While community foundations are the main focus of our work, we welcome other institutions working to understand and strengthen transnational communities.

Note: CCA was formerly known as Building Broader Communities in the Americas (BBCA). The initiative rebranded in early 2021.

Desired Outcomes

  • Advance shared understanding of communities whose identities transcend borders.
  • Increase shared knowledge about community foundation partnerships and practices with their transnational and other communities.
  • Strengthen relationships among community foundations and partners to promote local well-being. 
  • Encourage effective mobilization of monetary and other resources across the Americas for inclusive and equitable community-building.

Read our Mission Statement


Since 2017, CCA has offered several opportunities for community foundations and other organizations to share experiences and move the initiative forward, including meetings in El Paso, Mexico City, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Cuernavaca/Malinalco. Over 80 organizations have participated in the meetings, including 45 community foundations from seven different countries.

Sixteen community foundations have benefitted from eleven CCA grants for mapping the transnational communities in their regions. These reports are available here and are in the process of being translated in English/Spanish to promote wider access to the rich findings.

In 2021 – 2023, CCA will offer the following: 

  1. Increased peer learning and relationship-building opportunities for community foundations and other institutions committed to understanding our transnational communities. 
  2. New mapping grants to community foundations, hoping for participation from throughout the Americas. 
  3. A series of action grants based on the mapping results. 
  4. Conversations about how to expand effective transnational philanthropy in the Americas. 
  5. Travel peer learning grants for community foundations, once this can happen in a safe way. 

CCA Governance

CCA is funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Inter-American Foundation, with additional financial and in-kind contributions from community foundation participants.

Steering Committee

CCA’s work is managed by CFLeads and guided by a Steering Committee made up of community foundation networks in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Members include:

CCA also seeks the advice and input of community foundation representatives, researchers, funders, philanthropy serving organizations and others committed to CCA’s mission. For a full list of our committees, visit CCA Committees.

Get Involved

By working together, we can establish meaningful relationships among community foundations across the Americas and foster international collaboration. If you are interested in learning more or becoming involved — as a community foundation, an expert, a hometown association or a funder — please contact CCA project director Lisa Schalla at


If you’d like updates on programming, events and resources, sign up for the CCA newsletter!


A case study of five community foundation grant recipients working to meaningfully engage with their transnational communities and the local nonprofits that support them.

Download Report: Spanish | Portuguese

Provides context around the CCA Mapping Project and our community foundation participants’ recommendations for moving forward with the initiative.

A thoughtful reflection of eleven mapping research projects carried out by seventeen community foundations in Mexico and the United States.

An updated Directory of CCA organizations with contact information, relevant information about organizational activities, and each organization’s specific characteristics and strengths.

Two people stand in front of a screen displaying info about the CCA mapping project

CCA Mapping Project

The CCA Mapping Project is an ongoing initiative available to any community foundation in the United States, Canada or Latin America and the Caribbean.

CCA Committees / Comités CCA

We encourage Connecting Communities in the Americas participants to become involved in our committees.

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