Sterling Volunteers: A Guide for Advanced Program Managers

Created by Brittany Crow, Modified on Tue, 25 Jul 2023 at 08:43 AM by Autum Brown

 Heads up! This article is intended for advanced program managers. If you're a site manager, click hereIf you're a program facilitator looking for information about reviewing your programs, click here. 


You can use Sterling Volunteers to require background checks on volunteers who are 18 years of age or older before they can respond to an Opportunity! 

So you know: 

  • Not all sites have Sterling Volunteer. 
    • Please contact your site manager if you're interested in adding Sterling Volunteer to your site! 
  • The volunteer must be 18 years of age or older to initiate a background check with Sterling Volunteers. 
  • If a volunteer hasn't completed a required background check before responding to an Opportunity, then they're routed to Sterling Volunteers when they try to respond to one. 
  • You, or the site manager, and the volunteer receive the background check results within 4 to 48 hours. 
  • Background checks cannot be completed for Team responses. When you add a Sterling background check to an opportunity, users will not be able to respond to that Opportunity as a team.

Here, we cover: 


How to set up Sterling Volunteers

We must enabled Sterling Volunteers on the site and work with Sterling Volunteers to enable background checks for your Programs. If you're interested in requiring background checks, then please contact your site manager so that they can email us to get this started! 

  • For more information about Sterling Volunteers, please visit their site or contact their support: 
    • Email: theadvocates@sterlingvolunteers.com
    • Phone: (855) 326-1860, Option 3

Best practice: If you have any questions about having it set up on the site for your Programs, please ask your site manager to contact us about the process. 


How to set up an Opportunity 

Heads up! These steps apply only when a Program has Sterling Volunteers packages set up in the database and Sterling Volunteers activated on the site. The only way to add Sterling Volunteers to a Program is by having a site manager contact us about the process. 

You can make the background check a required step for volunteers to respond to your Opportunities! This can be done when you first create a new Opportunity, if your Program has Sterling Volunteers enabled or you can add it to existing Opportunities. Just remember, your Program must have Sterling Volunteers enabled. 


New Opportunities

To get started: 

1. Go to Volunteerism > Opportunities

2. Click Add New Opportunity.  

3. Scroll to Require Background Check5. Use the Select Package dropdown to select a package. 

  • To learn more about available Sterling Volunteer packages, please visit Sterling Volunteers or contact their support at theadvocate@sterlingvolunteers.com. 

6. Continue creating the Opportunity. 

  • Click here for more information about creating Opportunities! 

7. Be sure to click Create Opportunity when you're done! 

So you know: The Allow Team Registration option goes away when you opt to require background checks. 


Existing Opportunities

To get started: 

1. Go to Volunteerism > Opportunities

2. Select the Opportunity that is assigned to a Program with Sterling Volunteers enabled. 

3. Scroll to Require Background Check

4. Use the Select Package dropdown to select a package. 

  • To learn more about available Sterling Volunteer packages, please visit Sterling Volunteers or contact their support at theadvocate@sterlingvolunteers.com.

5. You can continue to make updates to the Opportunity as needed or click Update Opportunity if you're finished.  Best practice: It's a good idea to check the box beside Notify respondents of this update?, especially if the Opportunity already has volunteer responses. 

So you know: The Allow Team Registration option goes away when you opt to require background checks. 


How to review background check results 

You can always review the results of your Sterling Volunteer background checks in the Edit Program area of your dashboard! 

To get started: 

1. Go to Volunteerism > Edit Program

2. Click the Sterling Volunteers tab3. Now you can review the data for your volunteers that have completed their background checks!


Background check statuses

StatusDescription
PendingA pending status means that: 
  • The volunteer has initiated the background check 
  • They can't return to the Opportunity response form until they've passed the background check
  • The Opportunity response form isn't available to the volunteer until: 
    • They're approved for an appropriate level or higher
    • Their approval is with the Program that posted the Opportunity they're responding to
    • The check was initiated within the time set by the Program—e.g., at least one year
NewA volunteer has submitted their background check but it hasn't been reviewed by Sterling's system yet
Clear
The volunteer has been cleared for the background check, but has not yet been marked as eligible to respond. This is a transitional status. 
EligibleThe volunteer is approved and can complete the Opportunity response form 
Ineligible The volunteer isn't approved and can't complete the Opportunity response form
  • We can override the results so that they can complete the background check again as applicable 
ConsiderYou or a site manager must log into Sterling Volunteers to review the volunteer
  • You can navigate to your Sterling Volunteers account page in the Edit Program area of your dashboard!

Expired
The background check has expired, and the volunteer will need to re-submit their background check information before they can start responding to opportunities that require that background check. 
Adjudicated The background check is complete and results are coming soon

Overriding a result

Did someone enter information incorrectly when completing their background check? No worries! We know mistakes happen! If this happens and you want to allow the volunteer to re-accomplish the background check, just ask your site manager to contact us about an override! 


Exporting background check data

You can always export your background check data whenever you need it!

1. Go to Volunteerism > Edit Programs

2. Click the Sterling Volunteers tab. 

3. Select Export

  • This downloads your report as a CSV file. 


Expiration dates

You can set the duration for how long you want to honor a volunteer's background check. 

1. Go to Volunteerism > Edit Program

2. Click the Sterling Volunteers tab. 

3. Using the dropdown, select how long you wish to honor background checks. You can select: 

  • 1, 2, or 3 Years
  • 18 Months
  • Forever

3. Click Submit when you're ready. 

So you know: Once the expiration date is reached, the volunteer must complete the background check again. 


How to bypass a background check

Do you want to let someone bypass the background check? You can with a specific user tag—sterlingnotrequired. This special tag lets the volunteer respond to the Opportunity even if they haven't passed the background check. 

1. Go to Volunteerism > Users

2. Search for the user you wish to apply this tag to. 

3. With the Select An Action dropdown, select Add/Remove Tags

4. Make sure you have Add the following tag selected and type sterlingnotrequired in the blank field beside it. 

5. Click Update Tags when done. 


The volunteer perspective 

The Sterling Volunteers logo is displayed on your Opportunity cards when a volunteer visits your site. 

  • It also appears by the Opportunity title when they click on View Details

  • They're taken to a Background Check page when they click Respond for that Opportunity.  

  • After they complete this information and click Submit Background Info., they're taken to the Sterling Volunteers' site to complete the rest of the background check. 
    • For more information about the process from here, please contact Sterling Volunteers: 
      • Email: theadvocates@sterlingvolunteers.com 
      • Phone: (855) 326-1860, Option 3