Choosing the Best Volunteer Screening Service – Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring

June 14, 2021

volunteer (US content, not applicable to Canada)

Volunteer Screening for Charities and Nonprofits

Charities have the difficult task of finding competent volunteers to serve your charity’s mission with limited to no compensation. Many large, medium, and small-sized charities rely on the generosity of volunteers offering their free time to represent your charity the best they can. Unfortunately, HR managers and those who run nonprofits might run into applicants that appear like a great fit for the organization but are looking to gain access to the vulnerable populations your charity serves. Volunteer screening is a critical part of creating a viable charity free from misconduct and is successful in its overall mission.

Consider some of these common mistakes a charity or nonprofit can make when screening and hiring volunteers. Make the most informed hiring decision possible and create a culture of honesty and integrity among your staff.

Volunteer Screening Mistakes: Not Following Fair Credit Reporting Act Guidelines

Nonprofits and charities are subject to the same regulations as many businesses when hiring volunteers. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) offers guidelines for hiring across the United States and promotes best practices and legal requirements when conducting background checks. The FCRA states that a nonprofit must receive consent from an applicant to perform a background check, offer transparent and complete details regarding how the information will be used, and follow an adverse reaction process when someone is denied a position due to the information collected.

The adverse process comes with its own set of legal requirements as well. Employers must inform the volunteer that they are under consideration for losing the position due to the information collected, provide the applicant the name of the consumer agency that collected the data, and inform the individual that they have a right to dispute the information collected. Further, the organization must provide a copy of the report they obtained, along with information regarding their rights as outlined by the FCRA. Each jurisdiction could have additional guidelines for conducting a background check, and HR managers must complete their due diligence when screening volunteers.

volunteer helping kids Volunteer Screening Should Not Only be for New Candidates

Charitable organizations should consider conducting background checks on a regular basis, as volunteers could run into problematic criminal activity or experience financial issues after they have been hired.

Avoid the potential risk by conducting either yearly or quarterly screening services to ensure your volunteer base is best suited to serve the vulnerable populations you serve.

Volunteer Screening and Problems Associated with Do-It-Yourself Background Screening

Some charitable organizations might be tempted to conduct a background check with their own resources. In some cases, an HR manager could rely on information gathered on social media or other online resources. This information is likely incomplete or potentially inaccurate and does not adhere to FCRA standards. In other instances, charities may assume they don’t need to conduct a background check on a candidate that gives full consent and isn’t threatened by the idea.

Individuals that are intentionally seeking to reach vulnerable communities, including children, the elderly, or those who are less fortunate, might be betting that a charity is looking to make such a mistake. Protect your staff and those you serve with comprehensive background checks that can protect your charity’s mission and maintain its reputation throughout society.

Ordering a background check online Volunteer Screening Services by

Powered by ISB Global Services, allows candidates to order their own criminal background checks, allowing nonprofits to complete their due diligence while saving time and money. Now, you can request that candidates order and provide their own background screening credentials as a condition to accepting a position.

ISB Global Services and can help your charity or nonprofit navigate the complexities of hiring volunteers. Ensure that your business or charity remains highly compliant with any local law and protects those you serve by completing regular background checks and volunteer screening.

Explore various service offerings and ensure that your nonprofit protects those you serve and maintain its reputation within your community. Contact us directly or visit to learn more.