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Christopher Hawthorne Moss

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Screening 'In'

Say the word "screening" and it conjures up images of grilling potential volunteers and looking into their murky past to see if they would be a threat to you or your clients. But while this may be a sad fact of Doing Good these days, it really is only one side of the process. You need to screen volunteers "in" as well as "out."

When you screen someone "in" you:

  • learn what their skills are and where these can best be applied
  • gauge their temperament to see what tasks will suit them
  • find out how they measure success so you can match the "thank you" to that measuring stick

Screening "in" also allows you to see the potential volunteer’s deficits as something both they and you can resolve. If the volunteer lacks some information or skill needed to be effective, you can:

  • give them on-the-job training
  • find them training elsewhere
  • fit the information and skills development into your regular training

Bringing a new volunteer into your program is never simply a "yea" or "nay" proposition. By making their success your own you create a relationship where real giving is part of everyone’s job.


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