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3 Reasons Nonprofits Should Consider Screening Their Volunteers

By Jeanette Coleman, SPHR & SHRM-SCP on Apr 18, 2018
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3 Reasons Nonprofits Should Consider Screening Their Volunteers

We all would like to think our volunteers are loving people eager to help. For the most part that’s true, but we have all heard the horror stories of what could and unfortunately has happened.  As nonprofit leaders, the buck stops with us, and we need to carefully evaluate the volunteers who are working with our patients, children and the elderly.

More Corporations Are Screening and So Should You

The corporate world has learned not screening their employees could result in corruption, theft, costly litigation and investigations.

Nonprofits should be thinking the same way. In many cases, the nonprofit environment is even riskier. Nonprofits often serve the most vulnerable members of society and it’s our job to protect those we serve.

Prescreen Job Applicants

The Cost Isn’t What You Think

Technology has advanced, and as a result, screening has become less expensive. In many cases, background screening companies, have reduced nonprofit rates while still maintaining crucial FCRA compliance.

Three Reasons You Should Screen Your Volunteers

  1. Volunteers represent you and your organization. For many nonprofits, their volunteers are the face of the organization. In many ways, they are your brand and certainly impact your image. Any negative incident even one of your volunteers is involved in can damage your brand and potentially be extremely costly.

  2. Ability to evaluate volunteers for different positions and different levels of access. Certain volunteer positions are more sensitive than others and certain volunteers may not qualify for one position, but could do another. Think about the volunteer positions you need to fill and what you need to know about the volunteer candidate. For example, an MVR screen would be appropriate for a volunteer who would be driving a company-owned vehicle versus a position dealing with sensitive financial information where a credit check and criminal screen could be necessary.

  3. Reduce risk. Nonprofits tend to work with tight budgets. Reducing risk can ensure that unexpected penalties and fees don’t occur in the future. But there are also other serious risks to avoid like compliance, liability, public safety, and unwanted media attention and ultimately the protection of those we work with and those we serve!

Axcet HR Solutions works with top background screening companies to help you hire the right volunteers and reduce your risk. To find out more about how our dedicated human resources consultants use their knowledge and experience to recruit, hire and retain employees for Kansas City organizations like yours, call us at 800-801-7557 or visit

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