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The importance of volunteer screening

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2020 | Contracts

Many Michigan nonprofits use volunteers to serve the community in significant ways. Unpaid workers are often the heart and soul of any charitable organization. They are responsible for working directly with those who benefit from the organization’s mission as the on-the-ground team.

Volunteers often work with the elderly, children and the disabled. According to the Volunteer Screening Trends and Best Practices Report of 2018, over 75% of organizations served vulnerable members of the community. Some organizations use volunteers to handle internal duties, like administration and financial tasks.

Volunteers are a crucial component of any successful nonprofit. It is impossible to do the work without them. As such, volunteers must be reliable and trustworthy. Background checks and screenings protect those served by the nonprofit and the organization itself. The safety of these at-risk folks depends on it. Here at Pentiuk, Couvreur & Kobiljak, P.C., we help many nonprofit clients understand the complexities of volunteer screening and why it is so important.

Nonprofits commonly screen for criminal records and registered sex offenders. Some also choose to verify identities and perform drug screenings. More recently, organizations use social media checks to investigate their volunteers. Over half of the organizations that screen their volunteers use a third-party company to conduct searches. The rest use a direct governmental source or do the check in-house.

Using multiple searches is vital to volunteer background checks. Various databases contain different kinds of records. Many nonprofits search state, county and national archives to ensure they do not overlook something significant.

Visit our webpage to learn more about volunteer screening and nonprofit law.