eJewishphilanthropy’s post on December 14, 2010 about a new study done by Repair the World on the impact of service learning and volunteering has much relevance for Skilled Volunteers for Israel.
Major findings of the study include:
partnerships between service-learning programs and host communities that are jointly developed, focus on community needs, well implemented result in positive and multiple benefits to host communities
short-term volunteerism jumpstarts local volunteerism
provide host communities the opportunity to develop local leaders
cultural exchange with volunteers
This study focused on volunteering and service learning provided by young adult volunteers, however, it is reasonable to assume that many of the same benefits to communities or organizations will result through the strategic placement of older, skilled volunteers.
The study points to best practices such as joint planning, assessment of what works, strong communication between the organization and those receiving the volunteers and appropriate preparation, including orientation to the local economy, culture and community in advance.