Every day, millions of volunteers donate countless hours to good causes. Volunteers can and do perform many of the same duties as paid workers. However, instead of a regular paycheck volunteers do what they do out of a desire to give back to their community.
In today’s queasy, security-conscious climate, organizations are faced with a growing challenge — how to accomplish their mission while protecting the vulnerable population served? At the same time, organizations that rely on volunteers must perform a delicate balancing act — how to properly screen out bad actors without alienating dedicated privacy-conscious volunteers?
Why Volunteers are Screened and Why Some Volunteers May Be Wary?
Volunteers are screened for many of the same reasons employers conduct background checks. The ultimate goal is to verify identity and weed out potential problems, especially problems that could arise from an undisclosed criminal history. Absent a strict legal requirement, many volunteer organizations find background screening prudent. Like businesses, nonprofit organizations must respond to the needs and fears of their “clients” and the changing environment we live and work in.
Failure to maintain trust can be devastating to an organization, leading to loss of community support, loss of funding, or even a lawsuit for negligent “selection” of a volunteer. Even when faced with an unfortunate incident involving a volunteer, an organization should fare better by having made a good faith effort to conduct a background check.
The saying that a “bad volunteer is better than no volunteer” is untrue and dangerous, and should never be considered appropriate. While many organizations depend heavily upon volunteerism, failing to take any steps to screen volunteers places organizations, volunteers, and participants at greater risk. While no screening process can offer absolute assurance, implementing a background-screening program into our screening process can engender public confidence and lessen the risk of exposure to liability due to a lack of knowledge regarding our volunteers’ background. More specifically, an effective screening process will:
- Raise public awareness of quality programs offered.
- Make the safety of all participants, particularly the most vulnerable groups (children, elderly, mentally challenged, etc.) a top priority.
- Keep people who have a history of inappropriate behavior or who are unfit out of the organization.
- Select the “most qualified” volunteers
- Shows a strong commitment to providing a safe environment
Contact Us now to find out more about our company and the Not For Profit and Volunteer Screening solutions we can provide for you.