Nonprofits like social service organizations, youth programs, churches, and shelters must adopt the right practices when onboarding staff and volunteers. Because nonprofits can sometimes experience high turnover rates, they must recruit regularly. While recruiting, they should take the necessary precautions to protect their mission, existing staff, donors, and the vulnerable populations they serve.

A misstep in the onboarding process can be damaging to the vulnerable people they serve, their reputation, business relationships, and even their future. To protect their clients, beneficiaries, and others, they should adopt the following organizational risk management strategies when onboarding staff or volunteers:

1 Complete Background Checks

Nonprofits shouldn’t make the mistake of rushing through background checks, even if they desperately need volunteers. Organizations should complete screening, interviews, and criminal background checks to protect their communities and boost risk management.

If your nonprofit serves very vulnerable populations, like at-risk children or women, it should apply a higher level of screening. For example, checking references can help iron out potential threats.

2 Utilize Technology

Modern nonprofits use CRM software to enhance workflow, efficiencies, event management, and donor retention. However, not all CRM tools offer excellent and secure volunteer management technology. Nonprofits should use secure youth shelter tracking software that’s HIPAA and PIPEDA-compliant.

Additionally, it should have cutting-edge volunteer management features that allow nonprofits to manage their pool of volunteers by tracking their skills, preferences, and availability. It should also let volunteers sign up online through online webforms that secure relevant details for thorough checks.

Of course, the best software for shelter services helps partition access on a need-to-know basis. This way, new volunteers and staff can’t access sensitive data.

3 Training

After the hiring manager brings in new staff and volunteers, they should be comprehensively trained in the shelter’s mission statement and policies. New staff should undergo sensitivity training. They should also be trained to manage challenging situations that may occur in a shelter. Other training options, such as harassment and safety, are also essential nowadays.

4 Tour

After the training process is complete, the new staff and volunteers should be given site tours to learn the ropes. During the site tour, they can learn about safety features and potential hazards. Additionally, they can learn more about their roles.

5 Partnering

Partnering new staff and volunteers with experienced members of the team can be an excellent training and screening mechanism. Through mentorship, they can learn more about their duties. Experienced team members can also identify potential red flags in new volunteers.

6 Documentation

An excellent way to get new staff and volunteers to take their responsibilities seriously is to use documentation. They should sign contracts that clearly outline their duties and expectations. Documentation can also be an excellent teaching tool, helping new people learn the ropes.

7 Secure Storage

Even with the best staff and volunteers, nonprofits should still store records in a secure location for future reference. For example, if an incident is reported after a staff member leaves, a nonprofit can still access their documentation.

The best onboarding policies can help protect your nonprofit and the vulnerable populations you serve. Take the necessary steps to improve your nonprofit’s risk management today.