Frequently Asked Questions
Background Checks for Volunteers utilizes a combination of sophisticated automated tools and in-house criminal record experts to achieve some of the lowest turnaround times in the industry. We complete nearly 97% of our volunteer background checks in just one day. Reasons for taking longer include the availability of a reference, the verification of criminal records and the complexity of the background check.
Do I need a signed release from every volunteer?
Yes. Background Checks for Volunteers requires a signed release from each person for every service. Your volunteer can sign the digital release form online by going to the applicant page and clicking the “Start My Background Check” button. We can even create a custom page for your organization that has your logo or organization name.
If the person prefers, he or she can sign a printed release form. One is provided to you in your New Customer Packet that you received after signing up as a new client.
Should I use a database for criminal searches?
Databases are not nearly as accurate and reliable as a hands-on county-level criminal search. Background Checks for Volunteers offers a database product that is as good as any in the industry, known as TrueCrim (National Criminal/ Sex Offender Search). We highly recommend this product as an add-on but never a substitute for a hands-on county record search. If we locate a criminal record, we will verify the criminal record at the courthouse.
How does Background Checks for Volunteers achieve a more comprehensive yet cost-effective background check process compared to other screening providers?
Many volunteer screening providers rely on a nationwide/multi-state criminal database search to provide instant background check results; however, these databases tend to be incomplete and outdated. Background Checks for Volunteers uses a national criminal check as one piece of the puzzle, but we validate all criminal hits found in the database at the primary source—the county courthouse. This ensures that the information we report to you is accurate and isn’t subject to the same false-positives and missing records that other screening providers run into.
We also offer drug testing as an easy add-on to your background check. Background Checks for Volunteers has partnered with LabCorp and Quest to provide nationwide testing.
Can volunteers donate the cost of their background check?
If you prefer that your volunteers pay for their own background check, we can set this up through a custom webpage made specifically for your organization. Please contact us for more information about this process.
What information do I need from a volunteer to begin the screening process?
The volunteer will need to complete the background check release forms. The forms can be securely completed online here.
Why do I need the volunteer’s date of birth?
Most court records are stored primarily according to name and date of birth. Social Security numbers are not included in most criminal records. It is much faster to complete a search when we have a date of birth, meaning you get your results faster!
Do volunteers receive a copy of their background check results?
Yes, they are able to request a copy of their background check report from Background checks for Volunteers. If the applicant is denied volunteer opportunities, per FCRA guidelines, they are to be sent a copy of their background check report along with an Adverse Action Letter. If you would like, we can provide this service for you to ensure compliance.
What if a volunteer refuses to consent to a background check and complete the necessary paperwork?
Background Checks for Volunteers is not able to perform the background check without a signed release.
Can a background check be completed without a social security number? The volunteer does not want to provide this information.
We need the social security number to complete the social security trace. This allows us to verify that the information he or she has supplied is correct. The applicants or volunteers can provide their social security number over the phone to us directly if they would prefer. Should a candidate absolutely refuse to give the Social Security Number, Background Checks for Volunteers can run a partial background check.
What is the TrueCrim Search?
This search includes a National Multi-Jurisdiction Criminal Search and a 50 State Sex Offender Search. This database is an exclusive product that searches the largest repositories of criminal records for the entire country, including sex offender registries. Also included are the known-fugitive database, homeland security databases and more than 130 million individual criminal records from national and state agencies.
Why is a Social Security Number (SSN) trace so important?
The Social Security Trace is important to run because it lets us know who is using the Social Security Number and in which residences they are being used in. By running a Social Security Trace we are able to see other names and spellings an applicant may be going by. If you choose the AKAs report, we will use these other names and spellings to look for criminal records. For example, a volunteer may apply with the name of Lindsay McGuire. Let’s say we find the applicant also used the name Lindsay Miller in the past, so we would add the last name of “Miller” to our search. The Social Security Trace is also used for middle names and/or middle initials because if we find criminal records, a middle name/initial can help us determine if it is your candidate or someone with a similar/same name. For example, Jane Smith is a very common name, so knowing the middle name/initial can help us to identify the correct records.
Do I need to search alias names as part of my background check?
Alias names (AKAs) can be a critical part of the screening process. Since criminal records are stored by name, records stored under an alias will likely only be found if that alias name is included in the search. One common example of this is when someone has a married/maiden name, though hyphenated names or alternate first names could also result in an alias that needs to be searched.
Does Background Checks for Volunteers offer Abuse Registries and/or fingerprinting?
Background Checks for Volunteers offers a wide range of screening services to fit any client’s needs, including fingerprinting in select areas. For more info about fingerprinting or if you need a service you don’t see listed, contact us here .
What type of security does Background Checks for Volunteers utilize?
We have a secure system from the time of entry all the way through processing the background checks. Our site is an https site, which indicates it is secure. The information comes directly to us. It is processed in our internal system that cannot be accessed remotely. The candidate or volunteer can also call us at (800) 262-7301 if they feel more comfortable providing the information over the phone. If you would like more in-depth information about our security policy, you can request a copy of the True Hire Data Security Policy.
Who can I contact if I have a question not listed on this FAQ page?
Please reach out to us by using one of the forms on the Contact Us page.
What information do you need from our organization or nonprofit and how do I sign up with Background Checks for Volunteers?
Click here to complete the “New Customer Packet.” Once you fill out the forms online, they are automatically sent to our client services team. A copy is also emailed to you for your records.
Can I create a custom package/order services a la carte?
Absolutely! We recognize that our pre-built packages may not address the needs of everyone. We’re also proud to offer a vast array of industry leading background check tools to our clients, including motor vehicle reports, professional license verifications, reference checks, credit checks and more. Do you have a unique screening need that you don’t see addressed in one of our standard packages? Call us today at (800) 262-7301 to discuss a custom option!
After we sign up, how does my organization or nonprofit implement the screening program?
Background Checks for Volunteers makes getting started easy. Once your New Customer Packet is completed, we will set up your account and touch base with you once your account is active. You can order requests within 24 hours of signing up. We’ll provide you with an easy-to-use ordering guide as well as one-on-one or group training as needed.
How can I submit background check requests to Background Checks for Volunteers?
We support a number of methods to make your job easier. Candidates can log onto our secure portal to submit their information. You can also send it in via email, mail or fax. We can also interface with your software.
How do I submit a background check online?
You may set up your account so that your staff will enter the background check requests, or you can have your volunteers enter their own information
To manually submit a background check request online, sign in to our customer portal. Go to the requests tab. Enter in the volunteer’s information and submit. Depending on the type of background check package your organization runs, you may also be directed to a second screen to enter additional information (Ex: driver’s license, education history information). Review the box with the FCRA compliance information and checkmark the box. Submit the request. You will get a message that says “Thank you for your order!” indicating that the request has been sent.
How much will the background check cost?
Background check costs will vary based on the location and depth of the search, but Background Checks for Volunteers is here to help keep your program cost-effective. Our screening tools are tailored to the unique needs of volunteer organizations and nonprofits that need to keep prices low without sacrificing quality. You can check out our standard packages here ,which start at just $12.99, or give us a call at (800) 262-7301 for a customized quote.
How will I receive my results?
Results are delivered through our secure online access portal where each person who is granted access is given a specific user name and password. Background Checks for Volunteers can also limit access per individual based on what his or her need is to see results. To view the full report online, sign onto the client portal. Go to the results tab. Find the candidate’s name and select “word view” on the right side of the screen. A full PDF report will open. If a PDF does not open, determine if there is a pop-up blocker notification. If so, select “allow pop-ups for this site.” If no pop-up blocker message is showing, please sign out and try a different web browser.
Can Background Checks for Volunteers help with FCRA compliance and other government regulations?
Yes. Background Checks for Volunteers can advise you and provide all of the necessary forms. Need more help than that? We also offer full service compliance packages where we do it all for you and take the guesswork out of staying legal. Should you reject a volunteer based on the results of the background check, Background Checks for Volunteers will help facilitate the legal compliance and notify the applicant.
Do current volunteers need recurring background checks?
This is a great program that Background Checks for Volunteers offers. We would suggest that in order to promote the safety of all your volunteers and your clients that a background check is ran on a yearly basis for all people involved with your organization.
Do I have to commit to a certain number of background checks or period of time?
Once your organization or nonprofit is signed up for our services, there are no recurring maintenance fees or minimum number of background check requests. The account is open, and you may use it whenever needed.
Does Background Checks for Volunteers provide training on using the web portal?
We have a web user guide that can be used as a reference. The web user guide is emailed to you in your welcome email after your account is set up. We can provide web training for your employees, if needed. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 262-7301 to set up a training session.
I got locked out of my online account. How do I get this reset?
Please email email@example.com or call (800) 262-7301. We will need to know your name and organization that you are with. We will reset your web login and send you this information.
How often am I invoiced?
We bill twice a month: on the 15th and on the last day of the month. You will be invoiced for the background checks you have requested up to that point in the month, or you can opt to have your bill automatically charged to the credit card we have on file for you.
How will I receive my invoice?
Invoices will be sent by email and also posted to the secure web portal. To see the invoice online, sign onto the client portal. Go to the administration tab. Then, select the billing/invoices tab. We can also mail an invoice upon request.
What payment methods do you accept?
A credit card can be kept on file for your organization. We accept the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We also accept checks.
How will I know if something is not clear on the background check?
The results will detail any information located, such as criminal records. Anytime there is an alert on a background check, there will be a red dot in the alert column in our client portal. A clear result will show as a green dot in the alert column.
What are my rights when a background check is being performed on me?
When running a background check on you, Background Checks for Volunteers is required to comply with the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act).
What information will I be asked to provide?
In order to perform your background check we need the following information: first name, middle name, last name, date of birth, social security number and address. You may also need to provide your phone number and email address, so if we have any questions, we can reach out to you directly.
What is done with the personal information I provide?
The information is stored on our secure system.
Does Background Checks for Volunteers sell my information to third parties?
No. We never sell any of your information to third parties.
Can I receive a copy of my background check results?
Yes, you may request a copy of your background check report from Background Checks for Volunteers. If you are denied volunteer opportunities, you are sent a copy of your background check report along with an adverse action letter.
What happens if I do not give consent to have a background check performed on me?
Background Checks for Volunteers will not conduct a background check without your signed background check release form.
How secure is the website used to collect my personal information that will be used for the background check?
We have a secure system from the time of entry all the way through the processing your background check. Our site is an https site which indicates it is secure. The information comes directly to us. It is processed in our internal system that cannot be accessed remotely. You can also call us at (800) 262-7301 if you feel more comfortable providing the information over the phone.