Why Background Screening for Volunteers?

While awaiting the economic recovery, many non profit organizations (NPOs) have cut expenses as closely as possible. One area that should not see a budget reduction is background screening of volunteers.

Why is it important for Volunteer Managers to continue screening volunteers?

1. It’s the first defense against fraud. Embezzlement and theft are concerns in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. In hard times, fraud actually increases, so there is no better time than the present to protect your organization from potential losses. Charities nationwide are losing cash and property to unscrupulous volunteers. Don’t let yours be one of them!

2. Appearances are deceiving. Note we didn’t say “appearances can be deceiving;” that’s because they just are. You simply cannot judge a person’s honesty or character based on their level of cleanliness, their jewelry, or the brand of shoes they wear. Gambling addicts sometimes look like your grandmother—and some of them steal money to fuel their habit. Even folks who have never considered stealing fall prey to need—and if that person has access to your NPO’s finances, it’s potentially at risk.

3. As the person in charge of volunteers, you are liable for their actions. Do you want to be safe, or sorry? If the charity you’ve given so much of your time to suffered a financial loss due to theft, fraud, or litigation, how would you feel—especially knowing that a simple and quick background check could help you screen out potential problem volunteers? Don’t take chances—you’ll sleep better at night!

4. What’s more important than keeping volunteers, staff, and clients safe? Most organizations serving vulnerable populations, like the elderly, disabled, and children, routinely screen volunteers for criminal history and sex offender status. But sadly, not every volunteer organization takes this important step. We’ve all heard the stories about volunteers who harm kids or the elderly who should not have been anywhere near them!

There is really no reason not to screen every volunteer applicant. No matter what financial shape your NPO is in, volunteer screening is one area that you really can’t afford to cut the budget!

Background credit screening of volunteers is quick and inexpensive. And the peace of mind it offers is really priceless. Protect your organization, your staff, volunteers, and clients with thorough background screening.

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