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Volunteer Screening Best Practices

As the COVID-19 pandemic alters our lives every day, nonprofits and other volunteer organizations are using their volunteer base to bring community support. Some volunteers fill essential needs like food delivery and medical care—and the demand for quality volunteers continues to rise. Volunteers bring valuable care and necessary resources to communities through this pandemic. This means it’s extremely important for volunteer organizations to make sure they’re recruiting the best volunteers. The way your organization’s volunteers act through the pandemic will reflect on your organization for years to come. One of the best ways to ensure you recruit excellent helpers is to run volunteer screenings for each applicant. It may take some time to screen each applicant, but the clarity and security of a screening report is well worth it.

If you’re considering volunteer screenings for the first time or increasing your screening measures, you can follow these best practices to create an efficient screening process. With a strong background check procedure, you can get your volunteers out to serve others quickly and safely.

Find a screening partner you trust.

Your time is best spent running your organization and selecting volunteers. It should not be spent digging up background information on volunteer applicants. Regardless of how many background checks your organization may need to run, you will save time and resources by outsourcing your background checks.

Quality screening agencies like One Source are well-versed in volunteer screenings and can assist you in deciphering what screening reports really mean. When you partner with a screening agency, you  get the most accurate and complete reports. Furthermore, you get help clarifying what the screenings truly represent. At One Source, we can turn around screenings in 48 hours. Then, the results are presented on a user friendly platform. You can save valuable time and focus on finding the best volunteers to fulfill your mission.

Know when to screen potential volunteers.

Background checks are one of many tools you can use to build a strong, dedicated volunteer base. It doesn’t always make sense to base all of your volunteer decisions on screening reports alone, but they should be an important point of consideration. To create an efficient screening process, time background checks strategically in your vetting process.

You can start your vetting process with a thorough application followed by reference checks. After evaluating applications and references, you can determine which applicants would be good volunteer fits for your organization. Those applicants can then move on to the next round of vetting: background checks and interviews. Interview your applicants to get a deeper insight into their personality and strengths. Then, you can run background checks on your top candidates. Pair the background report with the information you gained from the references and interview to decide whether someone should volunteer for your cause.

Volunteers are providing essential services to thousands of people throughout our communities and their impact cannot be understated. If your organization is sending volunteers out into the world right now, it is in your best interest to be certain they are the best representatives of your mission. Contact One Sources’ Client Relations team today to learn how we can make your volunteer screening process thorough, streamlined and effective.

4 questions to ask about your volunteer background check policy

Nonprofits, schools and plenty of other organizations rely on the services of volunteers to function. A strong volunteer base can be an organization’s greatest resource to help achieve its goals.

Before your organization recruits any volunteers, however, consider how background checks fit into your recruitment process. Screening volunteers ensures security for your organization and helps you build a reliable volunteer base. Find the best volunteers with these four questions to ask about your volunteer background check policy.

What screenings should we run on volunteers?

At a minimum, your organization should run a standard background check on every potential volunteer. One Source’s TotalCheck service includes checks of county, state and federal criminal records, the national sex offender registry, global watchlists and a verification of personal information.

Some volunteer positions may require screening beyond a standard background check. Take inventory of the roles and expectations for all of your volunteer positions to determine if you will need additional screening: Will volunteers need to operate a vehicle? Screen their driving record. Do your volunteers need any kind of professional training? Verify their education credentials.

Every volunteer opportunity is unique, so work with your background check agency to tailor screenings to each position’s requirements.

How often should we screen volunteers?

Dedicated, consistent volunteers are certainly an asset to any volunteer organization. However, periodically rescreening every long-term volunteer safeguards your organization and customers/clientele. It may seem tedious or intrusive to rescreen volunteers, but it’s the only way to ensure continued safety within your organization.

You do not have control over what your volunteers do outside your view, and the risk of misplaced trust could be detrimental to your organization. It’s always better safe than sorry, so try to rescreen your volunteers once a year.

How can we keep our volunteers’ reports secure?

Background checks can contain Personal Identifiable Information (PII), so it’s important to make sure that information is stored securely. One Source provides a secure portal for you to store, search and view completed reports.

Reports can’t be exported to your volunteer management system software, but One Source’s secure portal can work in tandem with your system to keep your volunteers’ information safe and organized.

What offenses would prohibit someone from volunteering?

Before you can decide whether to accept a potential volunteer, you need to develop consistent guidelines about how you handle volunteer rejections. Think about what infractions on a background report would be deal breakers for you. If your organization works with children, you may not be allowed to hire volunteers with any kind of criminal record. If your organization aims to help former convicts, your guidelines could be less strict.

No matter where you draw the line with volunteers’ backgrounds, just make sure your policy is relevant to the work the volunteers will do and never waver from it. Because of that, tart with those four questions to improve your volunteer background check policy. To find the best screening plan for your organization and to learn more about our offerings for nonprofits, contact One Source Client Relations.

The Top 3 Reasons Nonprofit Volunteers Need Background Checks

To nonprofit organizations, volunteers are so much more than temporary helpers. They’re the lifeblood that lets a nonprofit thrive. They are administrators, fundraisers, cheerleaders, advocates and anything else that can drive an organization’s purpose forward.

The actions of volunteers make or break a nonprofit’s success. Genuine, reliable volunteers can boost a nonprofit’s integrity and increase its impact, but dishonest volunteers put nonprofits’ finances and reputations at risk.

So, how do you make sure your organization recruits excellent volunteers? Background checks. Here are the top 3 reasons nonprofit volunteers need background checks:

Public Safety

Volunteers who assist with events, fundraisers and outreach efforts are the face of an organization. Their exchanges with the public define how the organization is perceived, and it is the duty of volunteers to ensure everyone is comfortable and safe.

Running background checks on potential volunteers gives you peace of mind that your volunteers will treat the communities you serve with respect. Many nonprofits work with vulnerable populations like children and the elderly, and volunteers who interact with them must be screened. If an incident occurs and you did not background check your volunteers, you could be held responsible for the incident. Background checks keep the community you serve safe and allow you to trust your volunteers.

Volunteer Dedication

In order to grow your volunteer base with caring, dedicated volunteers, you must build a positive volunteer work environment. If volunteers steal, lie or take advantage of an organization, distrust becomes rooted in its culture.

Potentially wonderful volunteers will be wary of participating in the organization for fear of an unpleasant experience.

Nonprofits must make volunteers feel valued and secure to earn their loyalty. Background checks help you make informed decisions about which volunteers will foster a constructive work environment. Once you establish your organization as a great place to volunteer, your number of dedicated volunteers will increase.

Reputation Management

When people donate to a nonprofit, they trust the money they give will be used wisely. When people bring their families to a nonprofit’s event, they trust they will be safe. Public trust is required to maintain a nonprofit’s relevance. However, one wrong move from a volunteer can wreck the public’s confidence and leave the nonprofit in ruin.

Background checks allow you to verify your volunteers are ethical. Volunteers who handle donations honestly and treat others kindly will boost trust in your organization. People can tell when an organization has integrity. Build a good reputation through your volunteers, and people will be proud to support you.

Volunteers can be your nonprofit’s greatest asset. They can promote your purpose while giving your organization credibility. One Source’s comprehensive background check services help you choose your volunteers with confidence. Follow the link to learn more about One Source.

Why Is Volunteer Screening So Important?