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Cost of background check

  • 1.  Cost of background check

    Posted 11 days ago
    When a volunteer registers with our agency, they are directed to a 3rd party website to complete a background check. That vendor offers the volunteer to cover the cost of the background check "as a donation to our organization". If the volunteer selects to cover the cost, our invoice is reduced. The volunteer is paying the vendor, not our organization. Should I be recording this as an in-kind donation?

    Michelle Gundrum
    Donor Database Administrator
    Meals on Wheels Southwest Ohio & Northern KY

  • 2.  RE: Cost of background check

    Posted 11 days ago
    We would need to see the contract between you and the vendor.  This could be a possible GIK, but only if it is clear in the contract that the vendor is authorized to receive gifts on your behalf.

    Further, the vendor would have to send you proof of payment (credit card receipt), so you can ascertain the legal donor.

    Treat this sort of like a life insurance policy a donor has given you.  The company can receive premium payments on your behalf - but you still need proof of payment.


    John H. Taylor 
    919.816.5903 (Cell/Text)

    Big Ideas; Small Keyboard

  • 3.  RE: Cost of background check

    Posted 11 days ago

    I would also have thought that this might fall under the category of a donor paying and expense for which the organization would otherwise have been liable. 


    But when a donor directly pays, as you say, a premium for a life insurance policy owned by the organization, there is no expectation that the life insurance company would have been authorized to receive gifts on behalf of the organization.  They just accept a payment in the usual manner for an obligation for which the organization would otherwise be liable.


    The point about the need for documentation of the payment to be able to determine the actual donor is well-taken, of course.


    My US$0.02 worth; the usual disclaimers apply.


    Good luck!




    Alan S. Hejnal    (he/him/his)

    Data Quality Manager