Q:

What information should you collect from volunteers?

A:

Quick Answer

Organizations should collect basic volunteer information such as name, address, phone number and email. Asking volunteers for an emergency contact person and phone number is useful for unexpected events. Organizations serving children, teens or elderly clients should require volunteers to provide a state-issued identification for verification purposes. Volunteer sign up date, type of volunteer activity and hours of availability are also commonly collected.

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Full Answer

Organizations that want to know more about its volunteers can collect demographic information such as age, education, occupation and income. Privacy concerns are managed by using ranges when requesting key demographic data. For example, instead of requesting a date of birth, have volunteers select an age range such as 18 to 25. Organizations must always get legal permission to share personal images of volunteers, and volunteers must be informed in writing about usage of their personal information. Some volunteer positions require a criminal background check that is required by some insurers.

Screening volunteers is similar to screening job applicants and organizations can request resumes to review qualifications and experience for particular roles. Asking for references is also acceptable. Further screening is done by interviewing potential volunteers in person. Specific medical information may be needed to ensure public safety, but an attorney should be consulted about state and federal laws concerning privacy.

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