Why You Should Screen Your Non-Profit Volunteers

Your non-profit organization relies on the very best volunteer support. Anyone working with or for you will be viewed by business associates, and members of the public as an ambassador for the values of your organization. After all, there is a reason that people are your greatest resource. 

Even though volunteers are not paid, there still needs to be measures in place to ensure that they are representing you in the best possible light. With numbers of volunteer applications rising, things like remote background checks should come as standard. 

Volunteers tend to work with a nonprofit for a shorter period of time than paid employees and they interact with people as part of your organization. Screening the volunteers that you take on is essential to avoid any incidents which may reflect badly on your organization.

Remote Background Checks For Volunteers

Remote Background Checks for Volunteers

A person coming into your nonprofit organization has their own history, and it’s necessary to explore any potential risks in order to protect other volunteers and employees, and avoid reputational damage arising from negative actions. 

If someone has a history of bouncing around jobs very quickly over a long period of time, or they have a criminal record, it may not necessarily mean that you don’t give them the opportunity to volunteer. What it does allow you to do is make informed decisions based on your understanding of their history. 

You have a duty to protect other workers, and the health of your organization as a whole. The more you know, the better you can make these choices with full understanding, and continue to rely on the employees and volunteers that you select to support your mission.

A Thorough Screening Process

Putting a thorough, and reliable screening process in place is a measure of care that you owe to the rest of your volunteers. Screening processes are custom to each organization, and can be as light-touch or as detailed as you require. 

Enforcing standard measures like remote background checks are an important touchpoint, but equally you can use the screening process to match applicants better with different types of positions that you may have. Ensuring you have a pipeline of quality volunteers helps keep your organization both effective, and safe. 

Your Screening Checklist

The process to follow:

  • Conduct an inventory of the volunteer positions you have available.
  • Outline the role and scope of responsibilities into a description.
  • Advertise your volunteering opportunity via the right channels to reach recruits and generate a pipeline of viable candidates.
  • Standardize your application forms to request the information you need.
  • Invite prospective candidates to a video or face-to-face interview to get a sense of who they are as a person and to check basic information.
  • Conduct remote background checks on the viable candidates, and contact references.
  • Orientate and train new volunteers proficiently.
  • Supervise and support where necessary, seeking feedback about a volunteer’s performance

Once these steps are in place, you’ll be able to count on a number of ready and willing volunteers who can effectively contribute to your organization.