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Twenty years ago, nonprofits often did not run background checks on either employees or volunteers, at best running the bare minimum of searches due to the cost. They also worried about alienating individuals who were already willing to give their time through volunteering.

Today the picture is different. They have found it makes those volunteers, employees and members all feel safer and more confident of their surroundings. It makes donors feel more secure in their financial responsibility and less hesitant when answering the donor call. 

The nonprofits have found the old adage to be true – do what you are good at and leave background checks to the experts. Over time, nonprofits found using a third-party background checking company to screen worked best for the following reasons:

Liability: By putting a background checking company between you and the individual being checked, you greatly reduce your liability in case of a lawsuit. The third party will absorb the vast majority of the legal and financial outcome. Additionally, the outside third party will provide you with any required forms and procedures to keep you compliant with the laws, rules and restrictions that exist.

Safety: By screening, you maximize the security of the people who use your services and work or volunteer within the organization. Nonprofits usually work with sensitive populations such as children, senior citizens, disabled and other vulnerable community groups. With screening you can protect them from serious risks, and your organization from untold community fall out.

Financial Integrity: With few to no bad headlines, donors do not fade away as happens when there are problems. This, with the shield created by the third party, gives the organization more financial stability.

When using a third-party screening company you should expect the following:

  • An online ordering and monitoring platform that is capable of handling all technical requirements your organization is using.
  • A full spectrum of searches including the standard criminal package, sex offender registries, employment and education verifications, MVR, drug testing, biometric fingerprinting, and social media reports. 
  • Guidance with Compliance Program Requirements.
  • Timely advice on reading and understanding reports when hits occur.
  • Reports that include the most up-to-date, accurate information.

Recommended Services for Nonprofit Organizations:

  • Nationwide Criminal Search
  • Social Security Number Search
  • State Criminal Search
  • County Criminal Search
  • Drug Testing
  • Biometric Fingerprinting
  • Social Media Reports
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Daniel Paulsen

Daniel Paulsen is the CEO of Employment Screening Alliance. For more information, call 866.830.3724 or email info@esascreening.com.

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