Taylor Conroy: Founder, Change Heroes
By the time he was 27, Taylor Conroy had already tried two very different careers. When he was 20, he became a firefighter. Wanting to make more money and have control over his own schedule, he then became a real estate agent and founded a boutique agency called the Condo Group.
In 2009, a trip to Uganda convinced him to leave real estate and found Change Heroes, a fundraising platform for schools in developing countries. The change meant a shift in salary expectations and rethinking the end goal of the business.
“I found that after that trip, I started to look at everybody as being my brother or my sister. Once you’re exposed to it and you don’t have an excuse for not knowing anymore … then the decision to devote your life to that is made. You don’t have a choice.
“A switch really had to be made from just focusing on profit to focusing on impact.”
Change Heroes makes money by taking a 5% cut on every fundraising campaign. The campaigns benefit two charities: Free the Children and Room to Read.
“I wanted to combine business with charity, so that I was bringing in money, multiplying it and, while multiplying it, impacting lives, then being able to give a large sum of money and keep some so we could multiply that.”
Running a business that’s not focused solely on profits required Conroy to reassess his own take-home pay.
“In 2010, I was 28, and I said exactly how much do you have to make a month to travel, to eat really healthy food and to live in a place you want to live and to at some point support a family? So I defined [the numbers] exactly … as soon as I defined those, and had those coming in, I realized that what inherently happens is you start looking outward.”