Why is there a (refundable) deposit to join Carolina Paranormal Society?
After 8+ years of recruiting for Carolina Paranormal Society, we arrived at a crossroads with making some recruiting decisions. We've had over 1,500 local applicants to our team in 8 years and have recruited over 100 different individuals from those applicants to be a part of our team.
So, why do we now charge a deposit? For the last few years, our team has fluctuated in membership between 20 - 40 active members at any given time. We are the closest you will find to a professional paranormal investigation organization anywhere in the South East. We recruit members based on personality and willingness for commitment to our team initiatives.
With 8 years of recruiting under our belt, we began seeing a defined pattern. We met some really wonderful people who have a passion for the paranormal and helping people, and they are still part of our team. We also began seeing individuals that had an interest in experiencing an investigation, but that was the limit of their commitment.
To explain, the mission of our team is to focus our priorities on the clients and assisting in their requests and needs. During our interview process, we ask questions to gauge the commitment level of our applicants and express the minimum level of commitment that is required to be a volunteer member of our team. The expectations are completely laid out during our interview and onboarding processes. Unfortunately, we’ve had some applicants that would tell us exactly what we want to hear with different intentions in mind. We started calling these individuals "one and done" as they would attend one to five investigations and then waiver their volunteering commitment for our team as they satisfied their personal curiosity for paranormal investigating. As a volunteer organization focused on our clients, this began creating a disservice for those we are trying to help. So, we struggled with deciding how to improve our recruitment process and ensure a higher level of commitment from our recruits.
It was not an easy decision, but we felt it was necessary to institute a $200 (refundable) deposit process on January 1, 2014.
How did we come up with that amount? Essentially, we do things different from everyone else. Our paranormal team has proprietary technology and processes that are not used by other teams in the paranormal field. We strive to be different and improve on what other "hobbyist" organizations do. Again, we hold ourselves to professional standards. It costs roughly $200 per applicant for us to onboard a new person to our team. We require new recruits to go through a full onboarding and training process and we provide access to our resources and materials (technology included) in which we have an overhead cost in providing. Our time, materials, and resources are our service commodity and the financial effort to keep the Carolina Paranormal organization moving in a positive direction is completely funded by the founders of the team. The work effort to keep the wheels turning come from our dedicated volunteer members.
So, what do you mean by the deposit is refundable? As I stated, we really struggled with asking people for money. We wrestled with the idea for nearly a year before agreeing it was time to institute this new policy. The reality is, we're not profiting and really don't want your money. We want your commitment to serving our organization and our clients. We needed a method to give us some insurance on commitment of new members to help us achieve our mission and objectives. The $200 deposit is completely refundable with certain criteria met, which includes retaining a compliant service record with our team for a minimum of 18 consecutive months and attending at a minimum of 15 investigations during that time period. We also require members to stay compliant with our continuing education programs and attending meetings and organizational functions as requested. Evidence review, documentation tasks, and peer engagement are also other requirements of the team. None of our member requirements demand a considerable amount of time for anyone. There is an average of 20 hours per month commitment for each of our members to complete needed tasks and meet all requirements. Many other volunteer organizations (animal shelters, charities, hospitals) require minimum time commitments and in some cases a financial commitment from volunteers to aid their mission. Our team averages 50+ investigations each year with added events and public speaking engagements. There is plenty to do and volunteer time at all different levels.
Since we implemented this policy in 2014, it has been a success and we've added many professional and dedicated members to our team. Currently, we still have a need to fill our ever growing organization and keep up with the high demand of case requests we receive.