Non-profits and Background Check Services: What You Need to Know

Volunteers and employees who work for non-for-profit organizations tend to work with vulnerable sectors of the population who need to be protected, for example, disabled individuals, the elderly, or children. One of the best ways that non-profits can protect people they serve is through carrying out complete and thorough background checks on all of the volunteers and employees hired.

Carrying out background checks on applications for volunteer and paid positions is of huge importance, as it can protect your non-for-profit organization from liability for negligent employment. Stakeholders that work with your non-profit will expect you to carry out background checks on people who you employ. Not only this but insurance firms will also demand this as a manner of managing risk too.

What should you expect from a background check?

There are a number of different components that are included in a background check. This should always involve checking criminal records. It may also include a credit check, reference checks, education verification, and employment verification. This depends on the position. Not everyone can conduct a credit check on their employees, for example. This can help you to ensure you hire the right people at your organization. This means individuals who are right for your non-for-profit and have not committed crimes in the past.

For those running a non-profit organization, it is important to think about the risks that are linked with an open position. Consider whether or not the person you hire is going to have access to financial resources or money or whether they will be interacting with people in vulnerable positions.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is applicable to the volunteers, as per the Federal Trade Commission. Volunteers are treated as employees for the purposes of the FCRA. This means that they will get the same protection with regards to information accuracy on their consumer reports.

There have been restrictions placed regarding criminal records of applicants in some cities and states. If you exclude anyone with a criminal record, even if their crime is not related to the position and happened many years ago, this can make it very difficult for people who have committed crimes in the past to be reintegrated into society and locate employment.

You also need to make sure you are very cautious about the use of social media for extracting information about volunteers and candidates for employed positions. If you obtain information via social media for decisions regarding employment, this could count as discrimination against individuals who are members of a certain group. This is prohibited by law.

All in all, there is no denying that background check services are imperative for all businesses and organizations, and this definitely includes non-for-profit organizations. Not only do you need to make sure you carry out these checks but you need to make sure you do so in the correct manner too. This is where professional assistance shows its worth.