Grow the Number of Volunteers in Your Nonprofit
From 2015 to 2016, the number of nonprofit organizations with 50 or more volunteers increased from 55 percent to 76 percent. Growing numbers of volunteers could mean major benefits to the nonprofit sector. Volunteers are an important source of labor, expanding fundraising networks and saving many organizations thousands of dollars with their unpaid service.
Verified Volunteers recently released “Volunteer Screening Trends and Best Practices Report 2017,” a study of volunteerism trends in today’s nonprofit sector. The report offers some perspective on effective volunteer management. Here are some of the findings:
• In 2014, 16 percent of organizations spent $31 or more per background check. In 2015, that percentage rose to 31.
• The percentage of organizations expecting to do more background checks in the coming year rose from 48 percent to 61 percent.
• Seventy-four percent of organizations had formal volunteer training programs in 2015. This rose to 83 percent in 2016.
So, volunteerism is growing—sounds great! But as the report indicates, there’s more to consider than just growth in number of volunteers. Organizations hiring more volunteers will likely be spending more on background checks, both collectively and per background check. Verified Volunteers found that 95 percent of the public believes in mandatory background checks, and 84 percent believes that the benefits of background checks are more important than an applicant’s right to privacy by refusing a background check.
In addition to the safety of your clients and protection of the organization, background checks could be vital for your organization’s reputation.
If you don’t yet have a formal training program for your volunteers, it may be time to consider implementing one. More organizations than ever before have instituted formal training programs. Verified Volunteers points out that training isn’t just for preparing volunteers and setting expectations of performance—comprehensive training for new volunteers can brand your organization as caring, supportive and proactive.
Download the full study at goo.gl/qS9c3Q for more.