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What's Your Forte Foundation

aka What’s Your Forté Foundation   |   Chicago , IL   |  https://whatsyourfortefoundation.org/

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GuideStar Charity Check

What's Your Forte Foundation

EIN: 46-4290311


Mission

In 2013, Matt Forté, All Pro Running Back for The Chicago Bears, established the What’s Your Forté Foundation with co-Founder Danielle Forté. Our mission is to invest in the equitable economic advancement of youth & families through partnership & purposeful relationships. Our vision is to be a powerful lever for social change, that facilitates transformational development on the South & West sides of Chicago. Through innovative opportunities, robust engagement, & a continuum of services; we holistically support the entire family by offering character development, career exploration, wellness, and wealth building. Through philanthropy we empower communities to take advantage of opportunities, harness their talents, & lean into skills that can equip them for success.

Ruling year info

2014

Founder

Matthew Forté

Co-Founder

Danielle Fort

Main address

303 E. Wacker Drive Suite 2108

Chicago , IL 60601 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-4290311

Subject area info

Education services

Philanthropy

Health

Community and economic development

Sports and recreation

Population served info

Families

Ethnic and racial groups

Economically disadvantaged people

At-risk youth

Self-employed people

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms

Show Forms 990

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The What’s Your Forté Foundation’s mission is to invest in the equitable economic advancement of youth and families through partnership and purposeful relationships.

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?

Your Your Forté - Our Finance

Your Your Forté - Our Finance is our wealth building program for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The program’s mission extends beyond providing micro-financing benefits to primarily African American-owned small businesses, the program empowers entrepreneurs to support economic development within their community, in turn leading the way for a stronger infrastructure.

Investing in disinvested and underinvested communities provides long term effects that span beyond the support of our program. Compounded over time, these investments can lead to access to better schools, healthier food, and higher standards of living.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
Self-employed people
Families

Communities hear from C-Suite & senior level employers who can offer lucrative career options for those who may not have traditional backgrouds. We offer low “barrier of entry positions” that have transformational “per hour” or “salaries” attached to them. The mutual link between the camps (football and career) are the unparalleled opportunities it gives youth and families. Matt and other industry CEO’s provide a roadmap for successfully navigating a host of issues like applying to college, internships, & running a business. Inclusive& immersive, the program provides space for one-on-one time to unload, but also allows participants to gain a new perspective on life.
 
During the Career Summit, presenters showcase both non-athletic lucrative career tracks as well as professional sports pathways as options for fulfilling careers. Forecasting vision and providing tangible resources to tap into; are just some of the benefits of the program!

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people
At-risk youth

This 40-week program is broken up into 4 life-changing journeys – “Believing,” “Growing,” “Living,” and “Changing.” Each journey is comprised of 10 lessons and additionally provides coping skills so participants can face life’s challenges and become an agent for change. The app (and book) guides youth to positive pathways and provides a roadmap to implement successful habits. This violence prevention tool along with our year-round initiatives, allows for instant corrective training and mentorship assistance -to be at their fingertips.

Communities today face unbelievable external obstacles and do not have sustained solutions. This is one of our answers to these root causes of inequity that provides real change from the inside out!

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth
Men and boys
Women and girls

The Finding Your Forté program is an innovative program aimed at reducing and preventing community-based violence through sustained action. This weekly series educates and uplift Chicago’s youth to make impactful, positive choices. All teens (including girls) are invited to hear from today’s most influential speakers and learn athletic skills with Matt Forté.

We play flag football, basketball, baseball, & soccer year-round. Not interested in sports? Attend just for the speaker series. The mentoring comes in the form of our volunteers each week (they exchange information with participants to be a source of support) and our Reach4Life curriculum. This app and coaching tool along with our physical mentors and volunteers each week guide and counsel students on how to deal with challenges and provide them a roadmap for successful life outcomes. The program for 13-18 yr. olds takes places every Saturday from 11:00am – 12:30pm. To register email [email protected]

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Men and boys
Women and girls

This initiative engages youth with personal growth opportunities and a chance to enhance their future development. The What’s Your Forté Foundation along with coalition partners (Ada S. McKinley, Youth Guidance (Becoming A Man -BAM), and Salem Baptist church), sought a solution to the 3 week gap in education & recreation each summer for young men and young women in the community. During those 3 weeks Chicago endures some of the most turbulent and violent acts perpetrated by youth who lack structure.

The Summer Experience provides up to 300 attendees ages 12-18 with activities and tools to enjoy their summer break by fusing educational sessions alongside physical and entrepreneurial opportunities. These evening 5:00-10:00pm engagement sessions are designed to reach the most at-risk youth, provide on ramps to alternative avenues for experiencing Chicago, and offer workforce options that will engage each participant to become connected to successful life outcomes.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth
Women and girls
Men and boys

Our Community Justice Fellows Program engages youth 14-20 years old in research, development, and other related activities focused on their experience with gun violence. Through storytelling, this program will specifically focus on the narrative from black and brown communities. The partnership’s goals include capturing storytelling videos centering on community, personal experience, and the current climate of gun violence.

The Fellows’ body of work will not only underscore their trauma but highlight the tangential impacts, challenges to progress, inroads, and will forecast innovative solutions. With guidance & training provided by CJAF & Black With No Chaser social media consultants; the fellowship will culminate in deliverable that will transform the conversation around gun violence and its messenger.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Men and boys
Women and girls

During this holiday season, we will be collecting winter coats, hats, and gloves along with gently used or new professional clothing for interviews. This resource donation is an annual drive the What’s Your Forté Foundation initiates to collect items that students and families in the community, are in need of as the season changes. With inflation on the rise, many families cannot afford these essential everyday items for their growing children.

During Thanksgiving we have our annual program called Blessing on the Block: Holiday Edition, which provides more than 1,000 meals to individuals, feeds 300 families for Thanksgiving and supports a holiday initiative to gift 100 bikes to children around holiday seasons of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Years.

Population(s) Served

The What’s Your Forté Foundation gives over 300 backpacks, school supplies for K-12 year olds, thousands household goods, shoes, and other resources to over 1,000 South & West side families in the lead up to a new school year. Our giveaways include face painting, inflatables, food, and a medical van that provides immunizations, asthma, and dental screenings. As a fully inclusive event, the day would not be complete without workshops (modern dance and music education sessions).

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Families
Ethnic and racial groups
Families
At-risk youth
Women and girls
Men and boys

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, At-risk youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Maximum number of participants allowed on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, At-risk youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of loans issued to clients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Self-employed people, Unemployed people

Related Program

Your Your Forté - Our Finance

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of donors lending

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of new clients within the past 12 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

30 so far in 2023

Number of endowments

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Men and boys, Women and girls

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Hours of physical activity performed by clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

50 and counting for 2023

Number of clients whose nutrition has improved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people, At-risk youth, Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

30 in 2023 so far

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Our vision is to be a powerful lever for social change, that facilitates transformational development on the South & West sides of Chicago.

We have a number of programs aimed at violence prevention, health, economic development (poverty alleviation) and wealth building.

Community Justice Fellows
Finding Your Forté
Blessing on the Block/Back to School Drip Academy
Your Forté - Our Finance

As a powerful lever for social change, we utilize community leaders, mentorship, and tailored programming to facilitate transformational development.


Through philanthropy, innovative opportunities, robust engagement, and a continuum of services; we holistically support the entire family by offering character development, career exploration, wellness, and wealth building.

we meet our goals through fundraising and service provision.

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 make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects

  • 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 look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), 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

What's Your Forte Foundation
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

What's Your Forte Foundation

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

What's Your Forte Foundation

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Operations

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

Documents
Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Founder

Matthew Forté

Dubbed an "Uphill Runner" for his uncompromising drive, and Top 50 NFL player in 2015, Matt Forté exemplifies fortitude in every sense. Matt was raised in Slidell, Louisiana and graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Finance. While attending Tulane, Matt rushed for more than 2,000 yards in his senior year & was on the Heisman Candidate Watch List. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears where he would play for 8 years. In 2018 Matt announced his retirement from football after 10 seasons, and a two-time ProBowler and retired as a Chicago Bear. He went on to join NBC Sports Chicago Football Aftershow as an analyst. Matt believes in a “top down” (physical needs) and “bottom up” (spiritual needs) approach. Matt not only engages but impacts and uplifts the family unit as a whole, understanding that strong families can transform culture in positive ways that last for generations to come.

Co-Founder

Danielle Fort

What's Your Forte Foundation

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

What's Your Forte Foundation

Board of directors
as of 04/15/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Tim Abrahams

Dr. Omar Lateef

Rush Hospital

Pastor Charlie Dates

Progressive Baptist Church/Salem Baptist Church

Jamia Jowers

What’s Your Forté Foundation

Tim Abrahams

PWC

Danielle Forté

828

Matt Forté

NFL

Dr. Caroline Robinson

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/14/2023

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
Male
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/14/2023

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • 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 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.