Fraud and recruitment of charity volunteers

26 October 2016

It is often quoted that a company’s best asset is its employees. For charities this includes their volunteers and it is subsequently necessary for charities to place a significant trust in them. This does pose a level of risk and fraudsters will and have targeted charities because of this trust.

It is important to note that employees and volunteers who commit fraud are in the minority. However, it is in the minority where we can see the biggest impact. 

Charities, as with any business face many adverse impacts from fraud including; financial loss, reputational damage, decline in staff morale and consumer confidence to manage its finances with the necessary governance.

A key risk is candidates who provide fraudulent CV’s, academic qualifications and references. Charities have an additional element with the recruitment of volunteers where it is not uncommon for a fraudster to conceal details of adverse financial history or unspent convictions. 

Five key principles to consider:

  1. Recruitment processes and procedures must be robust, but reflective of your fraud risk.
  2. Ensure the recruitment of volunteers is a robust process and where possible aligned to that of your employees.
  3. Undertake proportionate background checks and due diligence for staff and volunteer candidates and consider ongoing or periodic due diligence.
  4. When recruitment fraud is suspected, invoke your fraud response plan.
  5. Keep appraised of trends in recruitment fraud and make use of best practice.