Unraveling the Myths of Background Checks for Nonprofit Volunteers

background checks for nonprofit volunteers
Photo by Unseen Studio on Unsplash

Volunteers are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations, contributing their time, skills, and passion to make a positive impact on society. Ensuring the safety and well-being of both volunteers and the communities, they serve is paramount. That’s where background checks come into play. However, misconceptions about background checks for nonprofit volunteers can sometimes hinder the recruitment process. In this blog post, we aim to debunk the common myths surrounding background checks for nonprofit volunteers, shedding light on their importance and addressing concerns.

Upgrade to POINT Pro to integrate easy background checks for your volunteers!

Myth 1: Background checks are only necessary for paid employees, not volunteers.

One prevalent myth is that background checks are solely necessary for paid employees and not for volunteers. However, this misconception overlooks the fact that volunteers often have direct access to vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities. Conducting background checks helps ensure the safety and well-being of these individuals, as well as maintain the organization’s integrity.

Myth 2: Background checks are too expensive for nonprofit organizations.

Another misconception is that background checks are costly and can place a burden on nonprofit organizations with limited resources. While it’s true that some background checks can have associated costs, there are affordable options available. Many background check providers offer discounted or even free services specifically tailored for nonprofit organizations. Additionally, the cost of conducting a background check is a worthwhile investment when considering the potential risks that could be mitigated by a comprehensive screening process.

With POINT’s partnership with Checkr, you save money AND time!

Myth 3: Background checks create barriers that deter potential volunteers.

Some fear that implementing background checks may discourage prospective volunteers from joining nonprofit organizations. While it’s important to create an inclusive and welcoming environment, the safety and trust of the community being served must be prioritized. Communicating the purpose and necessity of background checks transparently can help alleviate concerns and reinforce the organization’s commitment to safeguarding those it serves.

Myth 4: Background checks are infallible and provide absolute certainty.

Background checks are a valuable tool, but they have limitations. It’s crucial to recognize that no background check can provide absolute certainty about a person’s character or behavior. Background checks typically involve verifying information provided by the volunteer, such as employment history and education credentials, as well as conducting criminal record checks. However, some records may be sealed, incomplete, or not readily accessible, making it essential to have additional risk management measures in place, such as thorough interviews and reference checks.

Myth 5: Background checks discriminate against individuals with a criminal history.

There is a common misconception that background checks unfairly discriminate against individuals with a criminal history, preventing them from contributing to society as volunteers. While it’s essential to promote rehabilitation and provide second chances, it’s equally important to prioritize the safety and well-being of the community. Each organization must establish its own policies and criteria regarding criminal history, taking into account the nature of the volunteer position and the organization’s mission. A criminal record does not necessarily disqualify someone from volunteering, but it is crucial to evaluate the circumstances and assess the potential risks involved.

Background Checks for Nonprofit Volunteers

Background checks play a vital role in safeguarding nonprofit organizations, their volunteers, and the communities they serve. POINT aims to foster a better understanding of their importance and encourage organizations to implement thorough screening processes that strike a balance between inclusivity and safety. Together, we can create environments where volunteers can thrive and the missions of nonprofits can be fulfilled with integrity and trust. Upgrade to POINT Pro to get easy and automatic background checks for your volunteers!

🧡 what you just read? Be sure to subscribe to the Good POINT Blog using the form below, or share our post with your colleagues! Are you curious how POINT can level up your volunteer program? Book a free, live demo with our team!

Photo Brandy Strand
Brandy Strand
Nonprofit Partnerships Account Executive

No guilt trips, no sad stories. Just a chance to do something good.