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.