Updated: Apr 24, 2020
In 2000, the average background check run by nonprofits was close to $100.
Thanks to technology the cost is much lower,typically under $30 and depending on your screening program this could be even lower. Volunteer background screening can still be a major line item for nonprofits when funding needs to be stretched across many areas. Nonprofits often must get creative on how to manage and explain this cost.
Here are some creative approaches on how to manage and explain costs.
1. Ask volunteers to optionally contribute to the cost of their background checks. Many volunteers will be willing to pay for all or part of their background checks when given the option.
2. Screening can also be looked at as a time and cost savings. How? Screened volunteers are often committed to the organizations they serve, meaning they show up more often. This means reduced recruiting costs, both in terms of time and dollars.
3. Consider the potential financial losses that might occur as a consequence of having unchecked volunteers with your organization.
4. When calculating the costs of background checks, be sure to consider the ways you can save money by doing them. Look at your insurance premiums. Let your brokers know how you use background checks as part of your risk management. Ask if you get lower rates.
5. Consider the cost of employee and volunteer safety. A safe work environment means happier volunteers and happier employees. Less turnover means less recruitment for new staff and volunteers.
Ultimately, remember that to a good volunteer background screening program will take an investment of time and money.
However, background screening will ultimately save you money in the long run and savings can add up quickly and significantly.
By: Michael Orum
Director of Non-Profit Partnerships
Note: This article is intended to provide general information and should be not be interpreted as legal advice.