Applicant Fraud

Foundations often collect large amounts of money intended for community projects or other worthwhile purposes. It has been reported that the methods these organizations use for financial distribution are falling under closer scrutiny as donors are presented with more options. Foundations have to make sure money raised goes directly to the people and institutions for which it is intended.

In our most recent blog, the background screening professionals at Barada Associates discuss the benefits of conducting background checks on applicants for grant money before writing a check.

The Importance of Background Checking Grant Recipients

Foundations need to be careful where they spend their money and who benefits from them. The local newspaper in Muncie, Indiana, for example, described how a new housing project will have to screen recipients to satisfy local concerns. The company wants to build housing for homeless citizens in the area, but a church next door is worried the new residents may have mental illnesses or criminal histories that could put its congregation in danger.

The company said it would perform a full background check to prevent people with a history of sexual misconduct from moving into the community. What the builder proposed as a background check is important, but it’s not the whole package.

All foundations need to be sure their money goes toward the organization’s intended purpose. This may mean obtaining criminal and civil background information on applicants applying for help. To avoid security compliance issues and to obtain as much information as possible, foundations can make use of third-party providers of background and reference checks such as Barada Associates. And, in this case, they could advise the builder of available services that will ensure the best possible use is made of the funds being provided.

What’s Included When Background Checking Grant Applicants?

Here are some of the types of background checks that might be beneficial for grant applicants:

Criminal Background Checks

If you’re handing a check over to a foundation for a lot of money, it’s a good practice to background check the applicants who are applying for the funds. If any of the applicants have a criminal history, especially related to theft or mishandling of funds, it should raise a red flag and cause your organization to reconsider its application.

Our criminal history background checks leave no stone unturned. They include checks at the county, state, and federal level, which increases the possibility of finding any potential convictions. Of course, a full criminal background check will show other types of crimes too, including ones that are violent in nature, which could also factor into choosing which applicants receive grant money.

Civil Background Checks

Barada Associates can also perform civil background checks on grant applicants to see if any lawsuits have been brought against the applicant or his or her organization. This, too, can help foundations rule out applicants. For example, a civil background check can show whether the applicant or organization was involved in a contract violation, harassment or wrongful termination.

Civil background screening may also show:

  • Bankruptcy filings
  • Tax liens
  • Debt collection
  • Lawsuits
  • Judgments

Credit Checks

Although a credit check is not typically recommended for some positions and industries, it’s a good idea to have one performed on grant applicants because it can show how responsible the person is with handling money.

A credit check by Barada Associates will uncover the number of accounts a candidate has, late payments and overall payment history on those accounts. It will also show the amount of delinquent money and whether the applicant has high debt, which could lead to a higher chance of theft.

Some states and cities have laws restricting credit checks for some positions. Barada Associates will ensure you’re in legal compliance as well as adhering to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Contact Barada Associates for Background Screening Services

When it comes to choosing recipients for grant money, you need the peace of mind of knowing you’re choosing only trustworthy candidates to handle the funds appropriately. Barada Associates was founded in 1979 and is one of the country’s oldest and most trusted providers of background screening services in the country. For more information or to request a quote, contact Barada Associates today.