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verified volunteersFor the past five years, Verified Volunteers has been the only volunteer management platform that exclusively serves the nonprofit community. This has enabled nonprofit organizations the ability to connect with volunteers in their area. With an easy-to-use dashboard and the ability to be notified if a volunteer’s status has changed, Verified Volunteers offers inexpensive, fast, and secure service to national and local charities around the country.


In Use:

On the surface, one can assume that Verified Volunteers well…verifies volunteers. But the management system does much more than vet volunteers. The idea for the software was born after extensive research and consultations with the nonprofit community. The question became, “How can we build a portal background check that can be shared and save communities some money?” During the early planning stages, Verified Volunteers realized that many businesses would conduct an initial background check and then be finished. What they discovered was that nonprofits needed to make sure that their volunteers were in good standing during the entire time they volunteered with the organization whether that spanned a single day, three years, or a decade. According to Executive Director, Katie Zwetzig; Verified Volunteers conduct monthly screenings for all volunteers in their system. If something changes, both nonprofit and volunteer are notified.

Another dilemma that Verified Volunteers solved was the cost associated with screenings. A background check can cost anywhere between $7 and $40 dollars depending on how in-depth the screening has to be. Zwetzig mentioned that many of the 400 nonprofits they initially consulted with noted these costs weren’t feasible. To solve this issue, Verified Volunteers created unique payment options where nonprofit organizations could have the volunteers pay for their background check themselves. For those organizations that didn’t feel comfortable asking their volunteers to purchase a screening, they could ask for a contribution from the volunteer. According to Zwetzig, when asked for a contribution, about 30% of volunteers donated.

Ease of Use:

In order to be vetted by the management company, a volunteer follows a link to Verified Volunteers’ website. There, they follow a four-step process that takes between 3-5 minutes to complete. The volunteer enters in their personal information in the first section, followed by their address, their consent, and the payment option. The process is secure and all background checks comply with state-by-state regulations. This is especially key for national organizations that have volunteers around the country.

Pertaining to the dashboard that nonprofits use to review the results, it integrates with numerous systems such as event management company VolunteerHub or management tool Better Impact.

Technology Used:

Verified Volunteers is based in the cloud and anyone can access the platform with internet access. The software offers a toll-free number if users run into an issue on the backend. Verified Volunteers also recently enabled a chat box for easier service.

Recap:

Verified Volunteers is a volunteer management software that enables nonprofits to vet their incoming volunteers while connecting those same organizations with volunteers who have already gone through the vetting process. The software is exclusive for nonprofits all over the country and is available to all local and national nonprofits regardless of size.

Verified Volunteers’ platform utilizes many tools such as their ability to do monthly checks for volunteers, the ability for volunteers to pay for their background check as well as purchase a “Fast Pass” which gives volunteers the ability to share their background check with numerous nonprofit organizations over the course of the year saving time and money. Whenever the Fast Pass is utilized, the person who paid for the initial screening (whether the volunteer or nonprofit receive a rebate). “In the last 15 months between contributions and rebates and shared checks we’ve saved the sector $1.8 million dollars,” Zwetzig stated.

Advantages:

* Verified Volunteers conducts monthly background checks to ensure volunteers are in good standing

* Volunteers can monetarily contribute to their background check or pay for the whole amount

* Volunteers can purchase a “Fast Pass” for $3.99 that allows them to share their background checks with nonprofit organizations. When used, the nonprofit or volunteer that initially paid for the screening earns a rebate.

Disadvantages:

* Verified Volunteers integrates with a limited number of SaaS solutions.

My Opinion

When looking at Verified Volunteers as a volunteer management software I think it checks off all of the boxes. It’s inexpensive, it’s secure, and it’s comes with a dashboard that enables nonprofits to manage their volunteers. But what stood out to me the most, is how Verified Volunteers is how its changing the way organizations can access volunteers. During our conversation, Zwetzig spoke about the time Volunteer Florida, a nonprofit organization was able to track down volunteers during 2017’s Hurricane Irma by using Verified Volunteers’ network of vetted volunteers. Zwetzig emphasized that the software wasn’t just a software. In her opinion, “background screening is a vehicle to help create safer communities.” She shared that when the disaster hit, Volunteer Florida was in desperate need of volunteers. Utilizing Verified Volunteers’ network, they were able to reach out to over 80 thousand already-vetted volunteers. Last modified on Thursday, 24 January 2019
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Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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