The term “background check” means different things to different people. Some nonprofit leaders use the term loosely to refer to a variety of screening tools, such as criminal history background checks, credit checks, reference checks, or the verification of prior employment and higher education. One former client initially told me that her nonprofit was conducting “background checks” on prospective volunteers, and I later discovered that their process was limited to checking the state’s online sex offender registry. It Takes a Toolbox The biggest misperception about criminal history background checks is that they are the only effective way to prevent the hiring of unsuitable paid or volunteer personnel. Criminal history background checks are a single tool in a toolbox of screening tools that nonprofit leaders should consider. Certain positions in a nonprofit may warrant the use of one combination of screening tools that looks quite different from the combination used for other positions. Applications, interviews, and reference checks are examples of other invaluable tools that savvy nonprofit leaders should keep close at hand in the screening toolbox.