Volunteer Screening FAQ?
Why Do I Need To Be Screened? Do you not trust me?
We do. But as a volunteer, you need to be screened – for your safety and the safety of others.
You have decided to volunteer, thank you! That means that you are willing to spend your free time helping an organization you care about work toward a greater good. Unfortunately, not all volunteer applicants have pure intentions like yours; we frequently hear accounts from other organizations of volunteers harming one another, staff members, or the people they seek to help.
That’s why, even though you mean no harm, you – and every other individual that wants to donate their time – must undergo a screening process to be a Soonercon volunteer. It’s the only way to ensure your safety and the safety of everyone around you.
Just like some of you, volunteer programs have typically been resistant to screening in the past – after all, it is known for being costly, time-consuming and inconvenient. But screening is no longer a “nice-to-have” option. More and more organizations are now conducting background checks on volunteers. According to a National Center for Victims of Crime survey, 72% of nonprofit organizations submit their volunteers to a background check. This is for good reason. 1 in 10 volunteer background checks come back with a previously undisclosed criminal history. Yes, anyone – not just vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, or the disabled – can be impacted by volunteers with less than noble intentions.
In the end, a good screening process shows that the organization you are working with cares about their program and the quality of individuals who help them. And we at Soonercon care about your safety and the safety of all our volunteers and attendees. That’s why we have made the decision to implement a screening policy for all volunteers – because without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be here!
We have partnered with Verified First, a leading provider of secure background checks, to ensure the speed of completion and security of your information. And here’s the good news for you: volunteer background checks can be completed and have you approved within a day or two. There is no cost to you for this screening – Soonercon will cover the screening costs so that no one will be unable to volunteer because of financial concerns!
We value the donation of your time and help, and we thank you for being part of the SoonerCon family!
To learn more about our screening partner, Verified First, click here. You will be directed through an outside link to an encrypted site.
I love helping! How do I start the SoonerCon volunteer process?
Please complete our volunteer form on our website to let us know where you are interested in volunteering for the convention. Once completed, our volunteer coordinator will contact you with instructions and a link to complete your background screening with Verified First. Again, this screening is done at no cost to you, but must be completed before you will receive notification of acceptance to volunteer at the upcoming convention.
Where can I find more information about your volunteer policies and procedures?
To view the Future Society of Central Oklahoma d.b.a. SoonerCon Volunteer Screening Policy, click here.
Will this affect my credit score or show an inquiry on my credit report?
No. This screening is not a credit check and a volunteer applicant’s credit status does not factor whatsoever in determining eligibility to volunteer at SoonerCon or other FSCOK events.
Who accesses and reviews the information returned in my background screening report?
The authorized FSCOK Volunteer Coordinators, FSCOK Committee Chairperson, and FSCOK Board of Directors are provided a report by Verified First containing the applicant’s background screening results and will make a determination of the applicant’s volunteer eligibility pursuant to the parameters
outlined in the Volunteer Background Screening Policy. Your report is only accessible via the background screening provider, and applicants may request a copy of their report from Verified First at any time using their unique user profile they established to perform the screening. For questions at any time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
I am trying to earn volunteer hours for credit with another organization (school, community service, house of worship, honors society, etc.). Will SoonerCon sign my volunteer hours sheet?
Absolutely! Once you complete your volunteer shift(s), please bring your organization’s volunteer service recognition sheet with you to convention headquarters at the registration desk and one of our volunteer coordinators will be happy to sign-off on your hours worked.
If your organization requires a written letter or email with official FSCOK/Soonercon letterhead or contact information for your service hours to be counted, or if you seek a written recommendation associated with your time of service with FSCOK and/or Soonercon, then please submit this request to the Soonercon Director of Volunteers at email@example.com or to the FSCOK board of directors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am under 18. Do I still have to do a background screening?
No, but your parent/guardian will need to complete a special waiver for you to participate. You must still complete the volunteer application to be eligible to sign up for shifts. We have volunteer shifts for ages 16+. Once you’ve submitted your application, please have your parent or guardian email email@example.com noting your name, date of application submission, and their preferred phone and email contact information to receive further instructions from us for getting you set up as a youth volunteer.