What tools and criteria should you use to identify the best applicants for volunteer work, and when to turn someone away? Some background checks are required by law. Know what you're required to do and what you need to do.

Guidelines for Using Questions in Conversation, Barbara B. Varenhorst, Ph.D, Search Institute
The Volunteer Application Form, Susan J. Ellis and Katherine Noyes Campbell, Proof Positive: Developing Significant Volunteer Recordkeeping Systems, 21st Century Edition, pp. 5-6, Energize, Inc

Researched and produced by Verified Volunteers, offers essential insights on the practices, challenges and concerns of organizations relying on volunteers, with screening tips to help you compare, measure and improve your organization’s volunteer screening program.

, 2016, pp. 32
CASA "Working with Volunteers"

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provides universal information on many volunteer management topics, particularly on screening and training. 

First Advantage

Resource center of free information on conducting background checks on volunteers (from a company selling screening services).

Interviewing Volunteers

10 page booklet from Voluntary Action-Leeds (UK)

Mentoring Partnership Resources

Excellent list of resources for any mentoring program from the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA. Includes materials on recruiting, screening and training volunteer mentors, many of which can be used in any type of volunteer effort.

Nonprofit Risk Management Center

Major source of information and publications on all aspects of risk and liability for nonprofit organizations in the U.S. (much is relevant in other countries, too).  Volunteer risk management is one of their featured areas:

Strategy for Interviewing Volunteers

Sample questions and other suggestions (keep scrolling through the pages) from Literacy Partners of Manitoba

Verified Volunteers

Free information center on how to screen volunteer applicants, with reports, white papers, case studies, and how-to checklists for volunteer resources managers, provided by Verified Volunteers, a company that provides background screening services to organizations. Also have a blog.

Volunteer Management FAQs

Site maintained by Carter MacNamara. Scroll to sections on Screening Volunteersand Selecting ("Hiring") Volunteers

What Is Screening?

Excellent overview of the rationale for and steps of effective volunteer screening from Volunteer Canada. Includes  The Screening Handbook and "Screening in Faith" PDF for faith communities.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

Book cover

A compendium of the best techniques for leading volunteer engagement, proven to work in a myriad of settings.

A Tongue-in-Cheek Look at the Trials of Volunteering (animated 3:50 min. video):  from, 2011 -- discusson starter on volunteer interviewing