Headquartered in Urbana, Ill., The Carle Foundation is the nonprofit parent company of an integrated
network of hospital and healthcare services, including the only Level I Trauma Center as well as Level
III perinatal services in east central Illinois. Collectively known as Carle, Carle Foundation Hospital and
Carle Physician Group operate on a very simple-yet-expansive mission: “We serve people.”
For Carle, the majority of its hospital volunteers are comprised of pre-med and medical students at
the University of Illinois. As such, it considers the online mobility of the Sterling Volunteers platform
to be essential to its volunteer recruitment and onboarding efforts. “To attract the students and keep
them engaged, we have to be up-to-date,” says Megan Holland, Director of Volunteer Services
at Carle. “The students want to do everything on their phones. I personally don’t know of any
background check system as modern as [Sterling Volunteers].”
Due to its proximity to the University of Illinois, Carle is both popular with volunteers and dependent on
them. The organization brings on and screens more than 2,000 volunteers a year, which includes collegeaged
students, auxiliary and teenagers. Prior to working with Sterling Volunteers, the process was entirely
manual, on paper and routed through the organization’s Human Resources department, which was
already stretched thin due to Carle’s rapid expansion. “We were really bogged down by the lag time in
bringing people on board and the background check was a big factor in that delay,” says Holland.
However, it wasn’t just the slow onboarding that caused Carle to rethink its volunteer screening.
The organization had a rude wake-up call by way of social media. “We had a student pass their
background check and then, in their first semester on campus, committed sexual assault, which
we found out about on Twitter!” says Holland. “They were still listed as an active volunteer, but with
our old vendor, we had no way of knowing of the new offense.”
Holland connected with Sterling Volunteers following its scare. Because of the easy-to-use Verified
Volunteers platform, there was no need to involve the organization’s IT department. Additionally,
implementation of the service was smooth and easy for Holland and her three-person team.
Holland and Carle created two channels within their screening program: One for student volunteers,
where the organization pays for the total cost of a background check. The second channel is for
“shadowers”, who shadow doctors and nurses during the workday to learn more about medical
careers—these individuals are required to pay for their own background checks.
Now Carle Foundation is able to streamline both their application and background check processes
online. In less than a year, more than 1,000 volunteer screenings have been conducted not only
with increased quality, but with turnaround times of as little as 24 hours. Additionally, Carle now has
around-the-year coverage with Sterling Volunteers’ monthly criminal updates. These ensure that newly
reported criminal offenses are alerted to their team – even after the volunteer is brought onboard.
Wait! Have you been directed to complete a background check for a specific nonprofit? If so, please follow the direct link on their website or in the email invitation you may have received. Or click here to link to your organization with a Good Deed Code.