Thursday, October 07 2021
It’s no secret that many nonprofits and other charitable organizations rely entirely on their volunteers. Some volunteers are among their most loyal donors, or vital board members who make a real difference in their community.
Austin is no exception. The people of Bat City do a great job of sustaining the region’s most celebrated nonprofits. They want to help patrons and the world at large.
And while most nonprofits inherently trust their volunteers, a pre-screening protocol is still essential. Even if 99% of your volunteers are well-intentioned, law-abiding citizens, you still want to make sure you are only taking on volunteers who abstain from drugs, can pass a criminal background check (unless their service work is court-ordered, in which case they should be placed carefully), and meet the criteria you’ve set in place to serve your local Austinites.
With that, here are three reasons to create and implement a volunteer screening program:
Does your organization work with vulnerable people like children, the elderly, or survivors of domestic violence? Your goal should above all else be to protect your community. A volunteer screening program can ensure your volunteers are helping for the right reasons, and confirm they’re able to interact with kindness, confidentiality, and empathy on the job.
Not only that, but screening your volunteers can increase safety by understanding the risks involved in taking on new people. For example, someone with a poor driving record shouldn’t be transporting your patrons. They might, however, be a sound fit in another role.
Your board and your patrons will be more trusting if your organization actively works to build an environment of safety and transparency. By developing a volunteer screening program, you can make it clear that you have everyone’s best interests at heart—and that you’re taking every step to increase safety while doing the important work you’re known for.
Speaking of transparency, as we mentioned above, some volunteers are court-ordered, or mandated to complete community service hours in addition to or instead of prison. These volunteers can make a real difference, but in most cases, they shouldn’t work directly with vulnerable groups.
Local organizations are generally celebrated in their area—until something goes wrong. To preserve your nonprofit’s reputation, be sure to screen your volunteers and prevent anything untoward from happening internally or externally. You don’t want a volunteer acting inappropriately in public, and you certainly don’t want a volunteer abusing your finances.
Again, this is where volunteer screening comes in. And since there is no law in place that protects organizations from volunteer liabilities, volunteer background checks really are essential—both in terms of safeguarding your reputation and reducing liability.
Austinites will only trust local organizations until they become a liability. For this reason, screening your volunteers is essential. The right program will help to keep patrons safe and make sure volunteers are placed appropriately, with everyone’s well-being in mind.
Develop Your Volunteer Screening Program Today
Is your Austin business interested in developing a custom volunteer program?
Our team will walk you through every step. Look no further if you’re hoping to create or elevate your volunteer screening program. We’ll work with you to curate the solution you need—ensuring your people can do the work your organization has set out to do.