Ask a volunteer manager to name the single biggest concern they have about running their nonprofit’s volunteer program. More likely than not, they will name their budget. Too often, volunteer managers are tasked with running their volunteer program on a shoestring. Of course, they try to do everything they can to keep costs down while still doing incredible work for their local community, but there’s one cost-saving opportunity they might be forgetting: volunteer background screening costs.

Volunteers give their time and effort to help your organization achieve its mission, so it’s obvious they want to give to your nonprofit – not take away! This includes covering the cost of their volunteer background check. Many organizations are discovering that they can get volunteers started helping from the moment they sign up by asking them to cover the cost of their background check. And the best part is, volunteers are happy to take on the cost to get started with the organization.

Here are 3 ideas to get volunteers helping from the moment they sign up!

  1. ASK! Believe it or not volunteers and volunteer candidates aren’t mind readers. Be sure that you take the lead on this cost-saving initiative. First step is to partner with a background screening company that allows you to communicate how a volunteer-paid background check will benefit your organization – and help to further the cause they care about. It may feel like you’re asking too much from a volunteer candidate, but we frequently hear from organizations that folks are happy to cover this small cost.
  2. Tailor the request to your nonprofit’s unique mission. Look for a volunteer screening platform that offers the option to create a tailored message from your nonprofit. This is where you can ask the volunteer candidate to cover some or all of their background check. It’s quick, easy, and gets volunteer candidates’ attention right as they’re excited to begin helping out. Create a customized request that communicates to the volunteer candidate what a great service they are doing by covering the cost, and don’t forget to mention how this will help your organization and its mission. In fact, requests with customized language tend to result in higher contributions – and who doesn’t want that, volunteer managers?
  3. Give them a snapshot of the results. In your request, show volunteer candidates the impact volunteer-paid background checks have had on your organization. Give numbers and statistics that show the savings and bolster this with an example of a great cause that money could go towards for the community instead. Say, for instance, a background check costs $10, and 25 applicants choose to cover that cost – that’s $250 that can go towards furnishing blankets for the homeless or meals for the elderly. Showing the results of their generosity is a great way to get candidates involved from the get-go!

Do you and your organization have some fabulous tips on how to better leverage volunteer generosity? We’d love to hear them! Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to share your preventative measures.

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