Agency Managers using Get Connected, Corporate Connect, Campus Connect, and Community Connect can use Sterling Volunteers to get background checks on prospective volunteers. This article covers the following topics:

The Basics

Agencies who work with Sterling Volunteers can now send prospective volunteers through background checks before completing a need response. If an agency manager requests a background check for a need, a volunteer who does not have a background check at the appropriate level will be routed to Sterling Volunteers' website when they attempt a need response. Both the agency manager and the volunteer will be notified of the results of the check in 4 to 48 hours. The volunteer can then complete the need response if the check passes.

Note:  A volunteer must be 18 or older to initiate a background check with Sterling Volunteers.

Getting Started

Agency packages are set up in the system by Galaxy Digital and Sterling Volunteers staff. Contact us to activate the Sterling Volunteers option on your site.

  • If your community works with Sterling Volunteers but your agency does not, you can click here to learn how to get set up.
  • If your community and your agency work with Sterling Volunteers already, you can click Sterling Volunteers in your Agency Management area to get started.

Note: If you don't have a Sterling Volunteers option in the Agency Management Area, Contact us to activate this option on your site. 

Setting Up a Need

Before an agency can set up a need to include a background check, it must first have its Sterling Volunteers packages set up in the database. This process is initiated by Sterling Volunteers; see Getting Started above for more information. The instructions below apply only if (1) an agency has set up its Sterling Volunteers packages in the database, and (2) Sterling Volunteers has been activated on your site.

To set up a need with a background check:

  1. Log into your site and My Agency to open the Agency Management Area.
  2. Click Needs to view a list of the needs your agency has posted.
  3. Click on a need to edit it, or click the Add New Need button to open a blank need form.
  4. Scroll to the Require Background Check? field.

    Note: This field is visible only if your agency is set up with Sterling Volunteers and Sterling Volunteers has been activated on your site.

  5. From the Require Background Check?dropdown, select the package (level of background check) to activate for this need.

    Note: If you do not wish to use a background check, skip this field. Note: The background-check feature cannot be used for team responses. If you select to use a background check, the Teams option will be removed from the form.

Remember to save your changes after completing the form.

Volunteer Responses

When responding to a need that requires a background check, a volunteer will see the Sterling Volunteers logo indicating that the need has a higher level of security.

When the volunteer clicks respond to such a need, the system checks to see if they are already approved at the package level for the agency that posted it. If they aren't, the volunteer is directed to the background-check form instead of the typical need-response form.

If the volunteer does not pass the approval level of background check, if their approval is with another agency or expired, or if they haven't gone through the background check at all, the Respond button will change to Ineligible, and the user will need to repeat the background check to proceed.

The Background-Check Form

Your Connect site's background-check form asks for address information, date of birth, phone number, first and last name, and email. If they edit the background form and submit it, their Get Connected, Corporate Connect, Campus Connect, or Community Connect profile will be updated with the changes.

Background-Check Statuses

A user begins a background-check status of "Pending" and cannot return to the need-response form until they've passed the background check. In fact, the need-response form will not be available to the user unless:

  • They are approved for an appropriate level or higher.
  • Their approval is with the agency that posted the need they are responding to.
  • The check was initiated within the time limit set by the agency (usually at least one year).

Once the check is complete, Sterling Volunteers will change their "Pending" status to one of the following statuses:

  • Eligible - The user can return to your site and complete the need-response form.
  • Ineligible - The user cannot complete the need-response form. They can, however, run another background check with Sterling Volunteers if they wish.
  • Consider - An agency manager must go to the Sterling Volunteers website, log in, and review the volunteer.  

Notifications

Both the agency manager and the user are notified by email when the following events occur:

  • A user completes a background check with Sterling Volunteers and the results are pending.
  • A user's status is updated from "Pending" to another status.
  • A user's status is changed by a monthly update run by Sterling Volunteers
  • After a successful background check, the emails sent to the user will include a link back to your site, where they can quickly complete their need response.

Agencies without Sterling Volunteers

If your agency is not already working with Sterling Volunteers, you'll have two opportunities in your agency manager view to begin setting up background checks: 

  • Sterling Volunteers tab  - Click this tab to get a short explanation and a link for setting your agency up with Sterling Volunteers.

    Note: If you are already set up with Sterling Volunteers, this tab will display a list of your agency's background checks to date.

  • Need-Posting Form - If your agency is not set up with Sterling Volunteers, the need-posting form will include a short explanation and a link  for setting up with Sterling Volunteers.

Support Contact for Sterling Volunteers

If you have questions about using Sterling Volunteers that are not addressed in this article, you can contact Sterling Volunteers in the following ways:

  • Phone: (855) 326-1860, Option 3
  • Email: theadvocates@sterlingvolunteers.com