A Roseburg businessman who founded one of the most successful software companies in Oregon is focusing on local charitable giving — and in a big way.
Trevor Mauch, who started the software company Carrot among his many business ventures, announced the launch of the Carrot Impact Fund. Mauch committed $500,000 in seed money “to start an official nonprofit fund to fuel our giving for years to come in bigger and better ways.”
“The Carrot Impact Fund is our next evolution of our commitment to help impact our communities that we live, work and play in,” Mauch said.
The impetus for the fund occurred before there was any news of the coronavirus. It was set up in December and the plan all along was to announce it on International Carrot Day, which was Saturday, Mauch said.
“I think the need is just more amplified today, and it’s perfect timing for us to put some more weight into helping our communities where we’re able,” he said.
Mauch has a history of success in the business arena.
He started the Young Entrepreneurship Society, a club for aspiring business owners, and established the Loft, a downtown Roseburg entrepreneurial workspace, in 2010.
In 2014, Mauch founded Carrot, a software company that helps real estate investors and agents grow their businesses through the web. Two years later, he was a top-three finalist for the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network’s Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.
In 2017, Mauch was selected as one of the Portland Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 — the top CEOs in Oregon under 40 years old. This year, Carrot made the list of Inc. magazine’s 5,000 Most Successful Companies in America, coming in at No. 1,235 (No. 10 out of 59 Oregon companies on the list).
Carrot has 30 full-time employees and posted revenue last year of more than $7 million.
This past fall, he bought the historic building that used to house the Roseburg Book and Stationery store. Mauch is toying with ideas on how to fill the space.
Mauch and Carrot also have a history of giving locally, although they’ve done it quietly.
For the past two years, Carrot has set aside 1% of Carrot’s gross revenue and three days per employee per year to donate to local causes that reflect their core values, Mauch said.
Much of that focus has been on helping food banks. Last year Carrot gave about $35,000 to food banks across the country where company employees live and work remotely.
Projects they have supported include FISH Food Pantry, a tiny homes project for homeless women veterans, portable bathrooms and showers for a homeless support agency, and funding the creation of the Umpqua Valley Bicycle Outreach program with a new van, bikes, and more to help them impact disadvantaged youth through learning valuable skill sets.
“We truly feel business done right should fuel impact and that we should be going after impact and not just income,” Mauch said. “Our hope for sharing this news isn’t so people can think we’re cool. It’s so we can hopefully inspire other companies, both bigger and smaller than us, that we can all step up and impact our communities with more intention.”
Mauch said he is producing a video and some ideas that other companies can use “to start to flex their giving muscle more in 2020, no matter their income or time bandwidth.”
The first donation will go to FISH Food Pantry, Mauch said.
“Hopefully we can drive some more awareness for the needs the FISH Pantry has right now, with COVID-19,” he said.
The second donation is earmarked for an organization that helps veterans create businesses in real estate after their deployment.
Mauch said he is still hammering out the details on that.
A third donation will go to the national organization No Kid Hungry, which helps feed needy children, including providing them healthy meals while they’re out of school.
Mauch also said he will be teaming up the Roseburg business Born and Raised Outdoors, which creates outdoors videos for YouTube, for a fundraising venture that will kick off this week.
Setting up the Carrot Impact Fund allows the company to “carve out our giving ahead of time and fully commit to being a company where impact is built into the culture from the ground up, not just as an afterthought,” Mauch said.
“We’re going to be giving a lot from it each year so our goal isn’t growth of the fund, our goal is to get the money into the hands of the causes in a way that makes a huge impact today, but also is sustainable to keep the fund active and impacting our communities for years to come,” Mauch said. “We plan on this fund being in existence as long as Carrot exists.“
The Carrot Impact Fund will hand out donations to local organizations on a quarterly basis, he said.
Nis Jessen, FISH board president, said food pantry survives on donations and grants, and the help Mauch and Carrot have given — all of it unsolicited — has been critical.
“They’ve turned into quite the partner for us and we’re quite appreciative,” Jessen said. “His heart is definitely in the right place and so is the company’s.”