GOLD2022

Bt Foundry

Dallas, TX   |  btfoundry.org

Mission

We exist to shape the world through a lens of representational equity, starting with ourselves and reaching to our clients through truly inclusive branding and marketing. It’s not as simple as choosing multi-cultural imagery or burning through a D.E.I. checklist — it must be woven into the fabric of the business. We crave fresh talent, celebrate new perspectives, and forge lasting relationships through high-quality, strategic creative work.

Ruling year info

2021

Founder + Executive Director

Keisha Whaley

Main address

1444 Oak Lawn Ave Suite 119

Dallas, TX 75207 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

30-1154635

NTEE code info

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Apprenticeship

-1-2 year program focused on disciplines in Account and Project Coordination, Strategy, UX/UI, Copywriting, and Design
-For aspiring professionals, Bootcamp graduates, and college seniors who need to gain experience, develop a portfolio, and be paid a living wage (Apprentices make between $20-$27.50 per hour and receive full benefits)
-Apprentices work with real clients, receive ongoing education through workshops with BT Foundry, and receive hands-on guidance from industry professionals with Brass Tacks Collective
-Apprentices can also receive financial assistance through Community Council and Dallas College
-Prepares participants for careers in marketing and advertising through end-to-end support including training and education, real-world experience, portfolio and resume-building, and employment advocacy

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
LGBTQ people
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Victims and oppressed people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Brass Tacks Collective and the Brass Tacks Foundry Apprenticeship Program work in tandem to provide real-world job experience and education in marketing and advertising through paid apprenticeships. We hire from marginalized communities to enhance diversity and inclusion in the field. Unlike a traditional internship, the majority of the Collective’s creative work is performed by the Foundry’s apprentices, who are mentored by senior talent. Upon completion of the program, apprentices own their work, present to clients, and leave the agency with both the training and experience needed to begin their careers. Since the apprenticeship program launched, we’ve served 22 apprentices, 96% of whom found employment typically within 3 months of completing the program.

In order to succeed, each apprenticeship track (graphic design, UX/UI design, copywriting, strategy, project management, and account management) requires the dedicated support of industry professionals. For every two industry professionals, Brass Tacks Collective is able to employ four apprentices. We are working towards adding professional staff to supplement the existing roster of senior talent, thus expanding the organization’s capacity and reach.

We offer training and support to communities of color to help them obtain high-paying jobs in the marketing field. Unemployment is an issue for everyone, however, these communities are disproportionately affected. Although they may have the soft skills and knowledge needed to do the job, they need the official training and hands-on experience that is usually a prerequisite for the jobs they want.

Our Bootcamp and Apprenticeship programs fill in the gaps that high school and higher education institutions do not. We offer real-world experience working with clients in a conducive learning environment. Candidates and participants are only required to prove their skills through interviews, real-world auditions, and other unorthodox means.

Most of our clients are non-profits, start-ups, and small businesses. We provide a full suite of services, including copywriting, graphic design, social media content, strategy, branding, and web design. Since Apprentices do a majority of the work and are guided by our professional team, we are able to provide services at lower rates than a traditional agency. Through this we can build communities by supporting existing businesses and training the workforce they will need to continue growing. In order to continue to succeed and grow, it is critical that we bring in at least one additional professional for every apprentice track that we offer. We are aware that our competitors can offer higher salaries and employer benefits. We seek to offer a more competitive salary to recruit talented senior professionals.

Brass Tacks impacts the economic well-being of local communities by ensuring community members are educated and trained to obtain jobs. We create self-sustainability in low-income neighborhoods by empowering individuals to take their career into their own hands. Since 2018, Brass Tacks has focused recruitment efforts on underserved areas. One example is South Dallas, where the average household income is $44,658, which is well below the $61,330 middle-class income of the wider DFW metroplex. Our efforts have led to a very inclusive group of candidates.

Through education and training, individuals gain the knowledge, experience, and credibility they need for a job in the marketing industry. In fact, an apprenticeship is the approximate equivalent of an associate’s degree. Upon completion of the program, apprentices also receive certification from the Department of Labor.

Our partnerships, clients, and programming are intentional. As a minority- and woman-owned company, we seek out low-budget/high-need clients such as nonprofits, startups, community organizations, and local businesses to receive quality work at an affordable rate. Our business model helps to increase awareness and revenue, causing a domino effect within the economic ecosystem. The better small businesses and nonprofits perform, the more opportunities and resources they are able to give to the communities they serve. The greater the awareness they receive, the more people, populations in need, and potential partners they are able to reach. By matching client needs and budgets with appropriate junior-level talent billable rates, both sides benefit, and a modest profit can be made.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

Bt Foundry
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Bt Foundry

Board of directors
as of 11/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Tanille Royston

Josh Runnels

Union

Caitlin Potter

Codeup

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/7/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/01/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.