Non-Profit Case Study


A group of educators were planning to open a new private school for high school 9th through 12th grade. It was felt that there was “room” and a need for a new high school that would emphasize strong core values as well as science in order to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century.

US Marketing Services was invited in to help facilitate and provide some thought leadership to the founders and Board of Directors for exploration and decision-making on where to locate the high school and how to communicate the values agenda for the school. The options for a location under consideration were very diverse and ranged from a potential location in a run down urban area in San Francisco to a location within the National Park of the Presidio. USMS conducted research with families of rising high school students and explored the family and students’ objectives regarding the school positioning regarding spirituality, core communications and the location options.


The school became The Bay School of San Francisco. US Marketing Services recommended to the founders and the board that they locate the school within the Presidio National Park in historic buildings that are part of the Presidio and utilize the beautiful location facing the green parade ground of the Presidio. Some of the factors that mattered were the proximity to Marin County, a county that did not have many private high school options, the ability to use the existing YMCA sport facilities along with open space within the Presidio, and the proximity to the new HQ of George Lucas film studios (for potential internship opportunities). US Marketing Services research among prospective parents and students found and reported that the teaching of values and questions of spirituality were very welcome especially when balanced with teaching technology and science as well.

Currently the Bay School of San Francisco high school has achieved a full student body of 320 students and is known for very challenging academics and a mindful and values-laden approach to learning and life choices.