Interview with Inter Relocation owner Stuart McAlister about the SME (small and medium enterprises) sponsorship scheme.
-Released in the Robert Burns International Foundation’s publication on 21st January 2017-
The SME Sponsorship Scheme marks a new chapter in the RBIF’s fundraising efforts, and is one that opens up the potential of giving purposefully for charity to a much wider range of companies. In a nutshell, the SME Sponsorship Scheme involves the RBIF teaming up with small and medium-sized enterprises to fund targeted smaller-scale projects, but ones that are no less important to improving child welfare in Hungary.
As the first project in the scheme, the RBIF and Inter Relocation supported a children’s hospital in Miskolc that specialises in hand surgery for children.
Below, we asked Stuart McAlister, managing director of Inter Relocation, about the scheme and his motives for helping the RBIF.
Stuart, you’re no stranger to the RBIF, but this time round you’re helping in a different way, could you explain to us why?
I’ve been involved in the Burns Supper and latterly the RBIF since 2001. One of the aspects of the fundraising that has always slightly bothered me is that the sponsorship focus was always on the companies that could donate the most in absolute cash terms. Small and medium enterprises such as Inter Relocation can’t contribute the amounts that multi-national companies can, but as a percentage of their annual turnover, the amounts are far larger.
Back in the spring of 2016, I sat down with Dougie Arnott with the intention of addressing this challenge because I could see a way to both highlight the contribution of smaller sponsor organisations and to make those sponsors feel they are making a real difference with smaller levels of sponsorship.
What Dougie suggested was to work with the Curatorium of the RBIF and its medical adviser on the best causes to raise funds for, to see if there were smaller projects that companies such as Inter Relocation could call their own. Inter Relocation is now making a major contribution to a specific project we chose for a hospital in Miskolc. It feels good to be contributing to something concrete, rather than just making a donation into a general fund.
A successful partnership is a win-win situation for both sides. What does the RBIF offer you and why do you support the foundation?
The key for me with any charitable involvement is that said charity must keep its over- heads to an absolute minimum. The RBIF does this as well or better than any charity organisation I know in Hungary. Inter Relocation is a small organisation but we have been very fortunate to have the chance to operate successfully in Hungary for the last fifteen years and where we have the chance to give a little back, we like to do so. When we make any kind of contribution we want both to know where the money goes, and to see complete transparency in the organisation we donate to. With the RBIF, both our key criteria are met.
How does the RBIF’s activity fit in with your company’s CSR initiatives? Why would you recommend the RBIF to others considering sponsorship?
Inter Relocation’s CSR policy is very much about giving back to the community we live and operate in. The RBIF’s long-term commitment to helping sick and under privileged children in Hungary very much aligns with our desire to help wherever we can. The new addition of the facility for the RBIF to provide us with our own smaller charity project makes our contribution all the more personal and effective. I would certainly recommend having the RBIF facilitate sponsorship to any small or medium company that wishes to get its staff behind a specific project.