If you operate a school, hospital, recreation center, or another nonprofit, volunteers can provide significant benefits. They can increase your capacity, save you money, bring diverse skills, enhance community relations, and increase awareness of your services. In turn, your organization offers volunteers valuable experiences they can take with them as they pursue paying jobs or other charitable roles.
Volunteer screening enables you to keep your workplace safe and lower your liability risk. With criminal checks, you also add credibility to your volunteer program. In this post, we’ll discuss three ways volunteer background checks promote volunteerism within your nonprofit.
3 Ways Volunteer Screening Promotes Volunteerism
Some nonprofit employers might need help when it comes to screening volunteers properly. That’s why hiring a background check provider can take the guesswork and uncertainty out of the process. Whether you work with a provider or do it yourself, a volunteer background search should include the following data sources:
- Address history trace (AHT)
- County court record search
- Criminal record databases
- Sex offender registry search
- “Also known as” (AKA) search
Despite the benefits of volunteer screening, only 33% of volunteers in a study reported going through criminal record checks. Volunteers will play an increasingly crucial role in many nonprofit organizations as economic pressures continue.
Chances are that volunteers are essential to your organization’s daily operations. In addition to ensuring safety and security, checking the backgrounds of prospective volunteers helps you avoid costly lawsuits and keeps you compliant with state and federal laws. It also provides the following benefits:
It Helps You Run Your Volunteer Program More Effectively
For your volunteer program to operate smoothly, you need policies to outline the functions your volunteers will perform. These policies should also determine scheduling, who has what level of access to your facilities, and what training they should receive.
Furthermore, you need procedures that stipulate what kinds of people are eligible to volunteer and what jobs or tasks they can perform. Volunteer screening helps you find the people who meet your policies’ requirements. Having people who maintain those standards keeps things running efficiently and reduces risk.
It Helps Everyone—Including Volunteers—Feel Safer
When you screen your volunteers, you protect more than just patients, students, older adults, or other clients. You’re also safeguarding your volunteers! Anyone giving their time and talents will know you value their safety and commitment. A clear volunteer screening policy also communicates that you set high standards for anyone who works for your organization, whether they draw a paycheck or donate their time.
Volunteers who have passed a background check can enjoy enhanced credibility and the trust of their co-workers and the people they serve. Volunteers who pass their screenings can also know that their qualifications meet a high standard of responsibility.
It Demonstrates Your Commitment to Your Clients and Stakeholders
If your organization treats patients, teaches children, or cares for vulnerable people, you have a commitment to keeping them safe. You also want to communicate clearly that you value safety above all other concerns. When conducting volunteer background checks, you show everyone interacting with your organization that screening is a best practice you take seriously.
BIB Can Help Your Organization Increase Volunteerism
Your volunteers are essential to your operations, and we understand that. Since 1995, BIB has helped hospitals, recreation centers, schools, and other nonprofits streamline their volunteer screening methods. We want you to get the best volunteers, all while keeping your environment safe.