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According to Verified Volunteers, 95% of Americans believe in mandatory background screening, however only 47% of nonprofit organizations are screening all of their volunteers. Many organizations fear that if mandatory background checks were implemented they would lose a majority of their volunteers, but there is a way to require background checks without coming off as invasive. If your organization is looking to require background checks, make sure you are asking your provider these questions.

  1. What steps should be followed in order to receive an applicant’s permission to run a background check?

  2. What information is needed in order to run the background check?

  3. Is the information received from the provider’s sources or is a report compiled for us?

  4. How long does it take to run the background check?

  5. Does the background check show records from every state the applicant has lived in?

  6. What if the applicant has records in multiple states?

  7. How much does each background check cost?

  8. Who pays for the background checks, our organization or the applicant?

  9. What information comes with each background check?

  10. What should we be looking for on the applicant’s checks?

  11. Who receives the results?

  12. Are the applicants allowed to see their results?

  13. Do the reports show a conclusion of a clear record or red flag?

  14. Can we determine what information will be considered in determining if the applicant receives a clear record or is marked as a red flag?

  15. What do we do if the the applicant has a record that conflicts with our company’s mission and values?

  16. Do we tell the applicant that they have a record that has caused adverse action or do you?

  17. What is adverse action and when do we have to notify the applicant of such?


For more information on background checks contact Background Check Express at 888-252-3282.


By: Christa Vandenburgh