BAYCAT: How a New Hybrid Nonprofit Model is Creating Sustainability and Driving Social Change

by Andrew Isaacs

Villy Wang founded BAYCAT in 2004 with the ambitious mission of ending inequality and racism through powerful storytelling. To accomplish that mission, she created a more financially sustainable nonprofit model. BAYCAT (Bayview-Hunters Point Center for the Arts and Technology) is run more like a business than a typical nonprofit. This hybrid model benefits multiple stakeholders including donors, clients, nonprofits, small businesses and local communities. To reduce the digital divide and provide job placement opportunities, BAYCAT operates both an Academy, a hands-on media school for underserved youth, and a Studio which partners with media professionals to create marketing materials. Many of the more than more 4,000 BAYCAT graduates have been hired by companies like Netflix, production companies, and ad agencies. This case explores BAYCAT's unique hybrid model and examines the possibility of replicating it for other socially responsible nonprofits. The BAYCAT example shows the benefits of blending aspects of nonprofit and for-profit structures. Also, this case highlights the timely topic of hybrid models with businesses increasingly communicating socially conscious brands.

Learning Objectives

1. Explore alternative financial models for nonprofit organizations. 2. Evaluate whether a specific successful example of a 'hybrid' financial model for a nonprofit organization can be replicated by other nonprofit organizations. 3. Explore whether the unique and very personal journey of BAYCAT's founder is integral to driving a unique model for a nonprofit organization. 4. Evaluate the risks and conflicts that are inherent in a hybrid model such as BAYCAT or even much larger entities that operate with similar financial models, such as universities and hospitals. 5. Explore whether BAYCAT's model could be used by other local, community-serving nonprofits, especially in less economically-vibrant settings than the Bay Area.


Pub Date: Sep 30, 2018

Discipline: Social Enterprise

Subjects: Social issues, Corporate social responsibility, Diversity, Women in business, Values, Marketing, Social responsibility

Product #: B5926-PDF-ENG

Industry: Media, Arts, Entertainment & sports, Social advocacy organizations

Geography: United States, Silicon Valley

Length: 9 page(s)

Berkeley Haas Case Series
Berkeley Haas Case Series The Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.


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