Taylor Conroy is the founder and CEO of Change Heroes. “Destroy Normal” is the mantra that lead Taylor to his current role – running a successful social enterprise that makes it easy to fundraise and impact hundreds of children in the developing world. The Empowering Team shares the interview below with Taylor.
Tell us about yourself, your background?
I’m from Canada and I started my professional career as a firefighter. I was actually the youngest firefighter in Canada at age twenty. Four years later, I decided to get my real estate license to supplement my income during my days off. In my first full year in real estate, I became the top grossing agent in Canada. I eventually sold the business enabling me the freedom to pursue other endeavors.
What is your empowerment story? In other words, what drove you to pursue your dream of Change Heroes?
In early 2009, I took a trip to Kenya and Uganda in search of a cause to get involved in. It’s here where I found my calling. I played with children who owned nothing more than the tattered t-shirts on their backs. I met girls who became mothers at age 14, and holding babies with a higher chance of dying of malaria or dysentery before age 5 than living, I was finally introduced to a “bright spot.” It was a schoolhouse in Kenya where children in blue and white school uniforms didn’t just learn math, science, and geography — they also learned about family planning, gender equality, how to prevent diseases like malaria and AIDS, and it was a place where they gained dignity each and every day.
It was inside this school that I fell in love with education and decided to start Change Heroes.
Tell us about Change Heroes.
Change Heroes is a social enterprise. That means we are NOT a non-profit. We are for-profit company that uses 100% of our profits to do more social good. That means no bonuses to executives and no inflated salaries. The only reason we exist is to do social good. Change Heroes is paid AFTER we raise funds for our implementing partners, with no upfront costs. We simply raise funds for specific projects (schoolhouses for example), and after we have raised the funds, we are paid an amount equal to 10% of the funds that we raised. This 10% is usually paid to us from an already existing fundraising and/or marketing budget.
What are some driving principles behind Change Heroes?
Giving. It’s all about giving. Their are five motivators for giving. They are:
- Personal Connection: “My research shows that the relationship between the potential donor and the fundraiser is far more important than the cause.”
- Group Mentality: “People love being part of a group, whether it’s teammates, co-workers, family, or friends… and it makes it a lot more fun.”
- Micro-Giving: “Asking for a micro daily amount for a set time period, like $3.33 for three months, and equating it to something that people usually buy everyday, like a cup of coffee or parking downtown for a couple of hours, is far easier to attain than one lump sum of $300-$400.”
- Tangible Outcome: “People love to see a direct result co-related to their giving, whether it’s buying a goat, digging a well, or buying a school, people like to know that their money built x.”
- Recognition: “I like recognition for giving for two big reasons. 1) It evokes an immediate positive emotion that the person then links to the act of giving. 2) When you recognize people for giving, other people see it, and they get inspired to give, and recognizing them inspires other people to give, which inspires others, etc.”
Tell us, how empowered do you feel with life, doing what you’re doing now?
Overall, I am jacked to be living the life of my dreams. The best thing I have done in recent years was deciding my “enough”. My enough money, enough savings, enough clothes, enough vehicles (I drive a sweet 50cc scooter), enough everything. Now that I know what my enough is, I am not caught up in materialism or always striving for more. From now on, my income and my life are dedicated to charity and making this world a better place.
Listen to Taylor Conroy on Empowering Radio