Our Volunteer Screening Trends & Best Practices Report 2016 unveiled a number of interesting statistics, trends and common challenges that exist amongst volunteer organizations of all shapes and sizes.

One of those challenges: budget. It’s a significant obstacle for organizations when it comes to screening volunteers in a thorough fashion. 

What organizations are saying about screening and their budgets

In our survey of more than 350 volunteer organizations, we asked a number of questions around screening challenges, budgets in general, and the amount organizations are spending on their volunteer screening. Some key findings:

  • The majority of organizations spent an average of $15 or less on screening for each volunteer in 2014. Only 17.2% spent $31 or more – the price point that indicates a high quality, thorough and up-to-date check is being run.
  • The majority of organizations spent less than 5% of their volunteer program budget on volunteer screening in 2014. Additionally, 9 in 10 organizations allocated less than one quarter of their budget to volunteer screening.
  • Still, organizations reported background screening and staffing as the most expensive aspects of their volunteer program. Approximately 30% of respondents cited background checks as the most costly aspect.

How screening saves your organization money

Unfortunately, many organizations are letting their screening programs suffer – and putting their organization, its reputation and its people at risk – because they do not believe they can afford to screen at the optimum level. The truth is, when all things are considered, screening volunteers actually saves organizations money. How? Here are 5 major ways:

  1. Lowers insurance premiums due to decreased liability
  2. Protects the organization’s brand and reputation
  3. Maintains credibility and ability to fundraise
  4. Improves volunteer retention rates and therefore decreases recruiting and training costs
  5. Prevents fraud and theft committed by volunteers

Quick Tip: Ask for help!

Clearly, background checks offer organizations tremendous value. But if finding space in the budget is still problematic, another option is to reach out to volunteers for help. Many volunteers are happy to contribute to the cost of the background check. In most cases, volunteers care deeply about the organization they devote their time to so covering the cost of a background check isn't going to deter them from volunteering. Verified Volunteers’ screening platform offers the option to split the cost of background checks and nearly 40% of volunteers pay for all or part of their check. Those volunteers covered an average of 91% of the cost.

Interested in learning more?
Download the report, Volunteer Screening Trends & Best Practices Report 2016, and learn more about screening and volunteer program trends, insights and best practices – and access resources to help you with your own budget challenges.

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