Volunteers and donors are the heartbeat of any nonprofit or religious organization. Without the power of a pool of talented, willing and motivated volunteers, nonprofits could not do all that they do for their missions, members and communities. At the same time, the donors that fund the mission of non-profit organizations are critical to their existence.
What happens when a nonprofit organization finds out that an adult, child or elder has been put at risk because of a volunteer or staff member that abused them – sexually, physically, emotionally or financially – and had a proper background check been done the event could have been avoided? How does the nonprofit organization overcome the adverse impact that an incident of this nature can cause an organization that depends on a community of people to trust that they are doing what is necessary to protect their people?
The truth is – any organization that has been faced with handling an incident of this nature knows how damaging it can be and how challenging it can be to overcome. So, what does background screening have to do with situations like this that are so damaging to non-profit organizations?
Quality background screening is designed to help identify risks, put people in positions that will reduce the risk of something bad happening, and protect the mission and people. We hope to help educate our thousands of volunteer organizations this month on why simply doing a fingerprint check does not give you the information you need to make sure you are protecting your people.
Trust but verify means we expect every background check to come back clear but we do what we are responsible to do to verify that we are reducing the risk of harm to our mission and our people. We strongly believe that relying on one type of check – the fingerprint – is not a thorough or responsible form of verifying the past of people. We hope you will consider the risks and the rewards of doing a more thorough check of your volunteers so that you can continue to drive your mission, protect your people and empower your volunteers.