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[Guide] Volunteer Screening

volunteer background check

What is your organization doing to screen its volunteers? For better or worse, volunteers are the face of most nonprofit organizations. As we pointed out in a recent article, failing to run a simple background check could cost you.

In case you’ve never thought about screening volunteers (or if you’d just like some additional info on the subject), we’ve assembled this comprehensive guide for weighing the costs and benefits associated with background screening. If you’re on the fence about screening volunteers, we hope these articles and statistics will help you make an informed decision.

Have a resource you’d like to add to the list? Tweet your ideas and helpful links to @VolunteerHub using the hashtag #VolunteerScreen.

Stats About Background Screening

The Facts About Background Checks

What is a background check? Are all background checks the same? This article by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) answers these questions and more. https://www.napbs.com/media/Factsheet.pdf

Why Screen Employees & Volunteers?

Does your nonprofit perform background checks on employees and volunteers? Failing to do so can cost your organization big time. Research reveals an alarming truth: approximately 95% of all companies are victims of some form of theft. In addition, only 10% of those companies ever discover that theft is occurring. The stats provided in this resource will make you think twice about neglecting to screen volunteers or employees. http://trak-1.com/stats/

Three Reasons Why You Should Screen Your Volunteers

Volunteers are often the “face” of an organization. Without volunteers nonprofits couldn’t function in the same capacity. A huge liability exists, however, for nonprofits that send volunteers out into the community without performing proper background checks. This article highlights three compelling reasons why nonprofits should screen volunteers. http://trust.guidestar.org/2013/10/16/trust-but-verify-why-volunteer-screening-is-so-important/

FAQs & Helpful Articles About Screening Volunteers

Are We Required To Conduct Criminal History Record Checks?

The answer to this question depends upon a variety of factors. This article discusses this topic in greater detail and also provides some best practices for conducting criminal history record checks. http://www.nonprofitrisk.org/advice/faqs/screening2.shtml

Guidelines For Screening Volunteers

Before placing volunteers, nonprofits should conduct thorough background screenings to ensure the safety of the individuals being served. Likewise, background checks also protect nonprofits from repercussions associated with placing unsuitable candidates in volunteer roles. This guide (an excerpt from No Surprises: Harmonizing Risk and Reward in Volunteer Management, 2nd ed) by Charles Tremper and Gwynne Kostin, offers eight helpful guidelines to follow when screening volunteers. http://www.energizeinc.com/art/anos.html

Interviewing and Screening Volunteers

Our friends at Energize, Inc. have put together a helpful list of articles, tools, and websites for anyone looking to learn more about interviewing and screening volunteers. Learn about the essential elements of a volunteer application form, tips for interviewing potential volunteers, and more. http://www.energizeinc.com/art/subj/scre.html

What Is a Volunteer Application Form?

This resource highlights the essential elements of a volunteer application form. 21 things every volunteer application should include: http://nonprofit.about.com/od/volunteers/qt/volunteerapplication.htm

Sample Volunteer Application Forms

Whether you’re starting from scratch or just revamping your current forms, these sample volunteer applications from OneOC.org provide a helpful visual for nonprofits. http://www.oneoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Volunteer-Applications-3-Samples.pdf

How Background Screening Automation Might Help

The Basic Truths About Background Screening, Part 1

If you’re new to screening volunteers, this webinar will help answer some of your basic questions about the importance of background screening. http://trak-1.com/the-basic-truths-about-background-screening-part-1/

The Basic Truths About Background Screening, Part 2

Do you know what to look for in a screening provider? This webinar by Trak-1 answers this important question and offers helpful tips when choosing a background screening provider. http://trak-1.com/the-basic-truths-about-background-screening-part-2/

Trust, But Verify: Why Volunteer Screening is So Important

Unfortunately, many organizations have learned the hard way that NOT screening can be more costly. This article takes a deeper look at this subject and gives three compelling reasons why you should screen volunteers. http://www.volunteerhub.com/blog/volunteer-screening/

Volunteer Screening Just Got Easier (and More Affordable)

Learn how to quickly and affordably run background checks on your volunteers. http://www.volunteerhub.com/blog/volunteer-background-screening/

Special Offer for VolunteerHub Clients

At VolunteerHub, we understand the importance of screening volunteers. That is why we’ve teamed up with Trak-1, the leading provider of volunteer screening solutions. With no contracts, no setup fee, and no monthly support fee, Trak-1 makes it easy and affordable to conduct background checks on volunteers. Additionally, VolunteerHub clients receive at least a 12% discount on all screening needs! http://trak-1.com/volunteerhub/

Bookmark this page and check back often! As we find additional resources relating to this topic, we will add them to the list.

Headshot of Krista Balbach

About Krista Balbach

Krista Balbach is a communications manager at VolunteerHub and has worked in the nonprofit sector in various marketing and communication roles.

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