Connecting Communities in the Americas

Connecting Communities in the Americas
Photo©Bahram Mark Sobhani
At CCA, we inspire and strengthen community foundations and partners across the Americas for local impact as they address issues that transcend borders.

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

Launched in 2016, Connecting Communities in the Americas (CCA) provides the unique opportunity for community foundations and support organizations to connect around issues and concerns that affect us all but may look different in each place.

We believe that by creating intentional connections to share knowledge, resources and strategies, we can amplify impact in our local communities. CCA also offers a number of opportunities that can strengthen both internal operations and community impact. See our activities below and sign up if you are interested in participating in this inspiring network!


Since 2016, Over 200 organizations have participated in CCA, including 150 community foundations from 11 different countries. Together, we offer several ways for leadership and staff to build relationships across borders and broaden their imagination of what is possible, including:

Mapping and Action Project Grants

A natural way to connect across the Americas has been on the topic of migration. People who come to live in our communities are still very connected to their places of origin, so building relationships with community foundations in countries of both destination and origin makes sense. Since 2016, we have supported 18 community foundations to engage in a “Mapping Project” and gain a deeper understanding of their transnational communities. You can find their project reports on the CFLeads Mapping Project web pages. Ten of those foundations have received additional funding to continue this work and engage with their transnational communities more deeply.

Peer Resource Sharing

Based on feedback from CCA participants, we began offering monthly virtual sessions on a variety of topics to our wider network in April of 2021, inviting organizations to share their best practices. These sessions are on the third Thursday of each month and can be found on the CFLeads calendar, as well as through the CCA mailing list. This is a great way to get your staff connected with others for shared learning!

Learning Exchanges

CCA periodically supports community foundations with small travel grants to visit each other and share resources on topics of shared interest. You can read about these experiences on the CCA Learning Exchanges page. 

In-person Convenings

Our participants have also emphasized the importance of meeting in person for relationship building and site visits of local work. Since 2016, CCA has partnered with local community foundations to offer convenings in El Paso, Chicago, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Malinalco, San Antonio and Guadalajara.

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.

If you are a funder and would like to discuss how to support Connecting Communities in the Americas, please contact Caroline Merenda at or Lisa Schalla at

Steering Committee

CFLeads hosts and manages CCA, while a Steering Committee guides its mission.

Current Steering Committee members are:

CCA also seeks the advice and input of community foundation representatives, researchers, funders, and philanthropy serving organizations 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

Would you like to be on the CCA mailing list? You can sign up here.


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

CCA Publications

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

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

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.

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.

Picture of people visiting a farm. It is a sunny day.

Learning Exchanges

Learn more about the five foundations that completed CCA Learning Exchange projects.

CCA Committees / Comités CCA

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

2024 CCA Gathering

We are excited to have the next CCA Gathering in Cedar Rapids-Dubuque, Iowa, hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque on September 16-17!

Related Content

Peer Resource Sharing: Storytelling to Build Community

Join us on June 20 and July 18 for a Peer Resource Sharing two-part session with CCA on Storytelling to Build Community.

Peer Resource Sharing: Paths to Foundation Growth

Join us on May 16 for a Peer Resource Sharing session with CCA on Paths to Foundation Growth.