When most people think of ‘philanthropy,’ they think about wealthy individuals donating large sums of money in the interest of being charitable. Philanthropy professionals across the globe focus on reaching out and securing donations from individuals who may be associated with their organization in some way. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s a traditional way of supporting good causes and helping communities most in need. It’s a method that’s worked for centuries.
But, in today’s modern world, should it be the only way to be considered philanthropic?
As the society progresses and develops, so do the words people use and how they use them. Modern definitions of philanthropy are emerging, including the following, via your dictionary:
‘A desire to help mankind; benevolence.’
‘Benevolent altruism with the intention of increasing the well-being of mankind.’
Global communities are filled with individuals with whom one might be able to connect such definitions. One such individual is Brent Clayton.
Shaking Up an Outdated System
Never being someone to settle for mediocrity, Brent Clayton has turned his passion for supporting community and empowering people into a hugely successful philanthropic venture.
In 2009, he founded Fire Recruitment Australia, serving as its CEO from 2009 to 2020. Taking his personal experiences of working within the firefighting industry and observing the unintentional barriers created by a rigorous and often ‘cloaked’ recruitment process, Brent turned his attention to coaching and training the right people to secure their dream career within firefighting.
While it might not sound world-changing initially, when you consider that firefighting is regarded as one of the most stressful, high-risk careers in public service that requires an incredible amount of resilience, you begin to see why recruiting the right people is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, Brent observed an industry that wasn’t entirely supportive of potential recruits. It maintained a hidden recruitment process that saw even the most suitable candidates struggle to get through. Knowing the industry desperately needs positive, resilient candidates to maintain the high level of response and safety our communities deserve, Brent decided to take proactive action.
In 2009, he founded Fire Recruitment Australia with one core purpose: to help coach and support the right people into a fulfilling and rewarding career within the fire service. He aimed to achieve his goal through an extensive and innovative system of advice, guidance, personal education and resources.
A New Way to Look at Philanthropy
Brent always believed his passion for providing opportunities for others was his strength. His vision, confidence, and commitment have helped him convert his ideas into a successful and much-needed reality. Brent hopes that the processes and support he has helped develop will encourage more people to consider firefighting as a viable career choice and create his philanthropic legacy in helping to build a world-class firefighting industry here in Australia.
Taking the view that modern philanthropy lies with individuals who can create positive change should, Brent took on the mammoth task of tackling the flaws in a system he saw day in, day out. Brent believes that philanthropy doesn’t always have to be about donating money but instead about finding ways to give back to the communities you want to be a part of in a positive way and influencing others to do the same.
Combining a true entrepreneurial mindset with a philanthropic heart, Brent Clayton is redefining what it means to give back and create change in the community he is passionate about in genuinely innovative ways.