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How to Write a Letter Asking to Volunteer
Last Updated: August 30, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Katherine Kirkinis, Ed.M., MA . Katherine Kirkinis is a Career Coach and Psychotherapist who has served as a career expert for Forbes, Medium, Best Life, and Working Mother Magazine, and as a diversity and inclusion expert for ATTN and Quartz. She specializes in working with issues of career, identity, and indecision. She has doctoral-level training in career counseling and career assessment and has worked with hundreds of clients to make career decisions through career assessments. She is pursuing a doctoral degree at The University of Albany, SUNY where her work focuses on diversity and inclusion, racism in the workplace, and racial identity. She is a published author and has been featured in academic journals as well as popular media outlets. Her research has been presented at 10+ national APA conferences since 2013. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,147,138 times.
Volunteering is the act of giving your time and services to another person or organization without the expectation of monetary reward. You should first choose an organization to volunteer with. When you know who you wish to offer your services to, you can write a letter asking to volunteer by explaining your reasons for volunteering, expressing interest in a particular volunteer position, and discussing the ways in which your skills and experiences can benefit others. Knowing how to write a volunteer letter and what information to include could help you land a life-changing role at an organization you care about.
Finding a Position
- Look at multiple positions to find one that would fit you best.
- Get a sense of what the position you're interested in requires of its applicants. It's important to do this before applying, because even though it is not a paid position, there may still be a certain skill set, level of experience, or education background required for that position.
- Read the organization's mission statement and values. These should be available somewhere on the organization's website, and can save you time and frustration down the line.
- If no contact person is listed in the announcement, try searching on the organization's website to determine who is in charge of personnel. You may need to contact the organization's human resources department to find this information.
- If hiring decisions are made by a high-ranking executive, you may need to address your letter to that individual.
Drafting a Letter
- Use a uniform type size and font that are appropriate for a business letter. Stick with a font size between 10 and 12 points, and choose a font that is easy to read and has clean lines, like those in the sans serif family. Some examples of professional-looking fonts include Arial, Century Gothic, Futura, Lucida Sans, News Gothic, Technical, Times New Roman, and Rockwell.  X Research source
- Do not use any unusual or unique colors in your letter. Type the body of your letter in black.
- Write your contact information in the upper lefthand corner of the document. Include your full name, address, telephone number, and email address.  X Research source
- Insert two or three line breaks, then write out the contact person's information. Start with their full name (or a proper title, if no first name is given - for example, Ms. Stone), the department that person works in, the name of the organization you are hoping to work with, and the organization's address.  X Research source
- You may wish to include the date on your letter so that the person reviewing your application can see when you applied. This can be inserted between your contact information and the organization's.  X Research source
- Include a statement of interest in the position.
- Mention where you saw the announcement for this volunteer opportunity.
- Write two to three sentences outlining your experience and expertise in the field of your interest.
- If you have a formal education or have taken coursework in the field to which you're applying, mention that in this section.
- Reference the organization's mission statement or values, and address why that mission or set of values is important to you. You should also tie your education, experience, and/or interests to the company's values or mission statement. Let the hiring party know that you are willing and able to work toward the organization's goals.
- Discuss your employment and volunteer history, and talk about how that experience it is relevant to the position. If your previous jobs are not directly relevant to the volunteer position, then mention your employment history as a way to highlight your specific strengths as an employee. You may want to focus on your work ethic, your dedication to your current or former employers, and any transferrable skills that could be relevant to the volunteer position you're applying for.
- Name any skills you possess that would be useful or relevant for this position, and talk about why those skills would be useful at the volunteer organization.
- If you have any substantial achievements that you are proud of (and that have relevant or transferrable skills), detail how those achievements make you an ideal candidate for the volunteer position you're interested in.
- Include any major issues or problems you were successfully able to identify and solve at your current or former jobs or internships.  X Research source
- Discuss any ways in which you successfully innovated new policies or procedures at your current or previous jobs or internships.  X Research source
- Incorporate any instances that illustrate your ability to take initiative and show responsibility or leadership skills.  X Research source
- Let the hiring party know how much time you can commit to each week. If you have specific days or times that work better for your schedule, let the hiring party know when you're available to volunteer, if you are accepted into the organization.
- Do not assume that you have the position. Writing about yourself and your availability as though you already have the position could be a turn off for the organization's hiring party.
- Ask the hiring party for the opportunity to meet in person to discuss the position further, and let him or her know when you would be available for an interview. It's important to be flexible when trying to set up a meeting/interview, so try to keep your schedule open and be willing to come in on short notice.
Sending Out Your Letter
- Letters of recommendation should be written by professional or personal references who can attest to your character and capabilities.  X Research source
- In lieu of letters of recommendation, you may want to include a list of professional references with each reference's contact information. This will allow the hiring party to reach out to your references, if he or she needs to, and it shows that you are able to maintain positive working relationships with current and former employers and/or colleagues.
- Address the interviewer by name.  X Research source
- Thank him or her for the opportunity to meet and discuss the position.  X Research source
- Try to mention something specific that the interviewer talked about during your meeting. Letting him or her know in the thank you note that you were interested in what he/she said shows that you were paying attention and that you take the opportunity seriously.  X Research source
- Close with a polite ending that does not assume that you have earned the position. Say something like, "I look forward to discussing this opportunity further," or wish the interviewer luck with the selection process.
- Some organizations are inundated with volunteer requests and may ask that you do not follow up. In each case, do as instructed.
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://sendgrid.com/blog/best-email-fonts/
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/businessletter/
- ↑ http://www.monash.edu.au/students/assets/docs/career-connect/samples/volunteering-job-advert-cover-letter.pdf
- ↑ https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2017-06-20/7-mistakes-of-cover-letter-writing
- ↑ http://www.mtu.edu/career/students/docs/resume-handout.pdf
- ↑ https://www.thebalancemoney.com/what-is-a-recommendation-letter-2062074
- ↑ https://careersidekick.com/thank-you-note-after-interview/
About This Article
To write a letter asking to volunteer, start by putting your contact details in the top left-hand corner of the page so the recipient can easily get in touch with you. Then, begin the body of your letter by addressing the recipient with the correct title, like Mr. or Ms. In your first paragraph, introduce yourself and express your interest in volunteering. Next, in the second paragraph, explain how your experience makes you a good candidate. Finally, in the third paragraph, say how much time you can commit to, and conclude the letter with a professional closing, such as "Sincerely." For tips on how to find a volunteering position in your local area, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Sample Email Cover Letter for a Volunteer Position
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.
- Tips for Writing a Volunteer Cover Letter
Drafting Your Cover Letter
Sample letter for a volunteer position, emailing your cover letter.
If you're looking to volunteer, you likely know that it involves donating your time, effort, and service. While most volunteer roles are unpaid, applicants looking to make a difference and gain valuable experience should consider sending an email message inquiring about such opportunities.
In some cases, volunteer roles can be competitive, so sending a cover letter can help you stand out. Plus, the time required to train and supervise volunteers is precious to these often short-staffed organizations.
Candidates who can show they have relevant experience and/or demonstrate that they're likely to volunteer for a long period of time (not just drop in for a single afternoon) will be appealing to the organization.
As with a paid position, you'll want to use your cover letter to show why you're a good fit for the role. Get tips for what to write when you want to volunteer, and see an example of a cover letter sent to inquire about volunteer opportunities.
Tips for Writing a Volunteer Cover Letter
Cover letters for volunteering written to organizations are an effective way to indicate your interest in a specific volunteer position, as well as to describe how your skills, experiences, and background can better the lives of others.
Like cover letters written for paid employment, those written for volunteer positions are most effective when they can highlight exactly how closely your background and/or interests fit the qualifications a group is looking for in its volunteers.
Like many paid jobs, organizations with volunteer positions available will often—but not always—publicly list the job openings they are looking to fill. Review these positions to find potential matches and to understand their requirements. If there isn't a position listed at an organization, you can write a letter of interest , letting the organization know that you are interested in volunteering there.
Although volunteer opportunities are usually unpaid, the employer may still require certain qualifications for an applicant to be eligible. For instance, volunteers at an animal shelter may need experience working with pets. Other volunteer roles may call for a valid driver's license, experience with office administration, a good phone manner, and so on.
As in any cover letter, you'll want to highlight your most relevant skills, experience, and qualifications.
Before you begin drafting your cover letter, be sure to research the organization . Familiarizing yourself with the organization, its culture, and its mission can make you a stronger, more prepared candidate. In your letter, you'll be able to explain why you're interested in volunteering at the organization.
Plus, learning about its operations may reveal that its values and mission are vastly different from your objectives—a sign that you should perhaps look for another organization to which you can contribute your time and labor.
Volunteering opportunities are not always listed by an organization’s Human Resources department, so make sure you research who to contact and how best to reach them.
When writing a cover letter for a volunteer position, mention your related work or volunteer experience, if applicable. Keep your cover letter professional, just like you would if you were applying for paid employment.
Utilize this time to market yourself to the organization. This cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself and your intentions right off the bat. When drafting the letter, be sure to describe your interest in the position as well as your relevant experience and background.
Provide examples of how you embody the organization’s mission statement, values, and core principles. In addition to your cover letter, include your resume . You may also want to include letters of recommendation written by personal or professional references who can describe and attest to your experience, skills,
This is an example of a cover letter for a volunteer position. Download the volunteer position cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Sample Letter for a Volunteer Position (Text Version)
Barry Applicant 123 Any Street Anytown, CT 11112 555-124-1245 email@example.com
July 30, 2020
John Lee Volunteer Manager St. John Senior Center 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Lee,
I am interested in opportunities that may be available to volunteer at the St. John Senior Center. As a long-time advocate of the needs and welfare of the elderly in our community, I have experience working with senior citizens and would be thrilled to continue to do so in a volunteer capacity.
I volunteered as an aide at the Champlain Center and enjoyed being able to help senior citizens with arts and crafts. In this position, I assisted program participants with recreational projects, contributed to program planning and strategy sessions, and accompanied group field trips to local musical events and museums. I also participated in fundraising and community outreach initiatives.
If the St. John Center needs a dedicated volunteer, I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to assist you. My schedule is flexible, and I would be available to volunteer at your convenience.
Eager to learn more about your mission, successes, and challenges in serving our senior citizens, I would be grateful for the opportunity to interview with you at a mutually convenient time. I look forward to speaking with you.
Thank you for your consideration.
Barry Applicant (signature hard copy letter)
You can either send your cover letter as an email attachment , or you can send it in the body of the email message with your resume . Be sure to include your name in the subject line of the email:
Subject: Your Name - Volunteer Application
Additional Sample Cover Letters
The most effective format for cover letters can vary, depending upon the opportunities they are targeting. Review cover letter samples for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including an internship cover letter sample, entry-level, targeted and email cover letters.
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Writing Effective Volunteer Cover Letters (With Sample)
As a college instructor and communication expert with extensive nonfiction and educational writing experience, Mary shares tips and advice related to a wide variety of topics.
Learn about our Editorial Policy .
Nonprofit organizations rely on the generosity of volunteers. If you'd like to donate your time and talents to a cause you believe in, consider sending a letter requesting to serve as a volunteer. Cover letters for volunteer roles are similar to job application cover letters, with a few adjustments. Use the sample volunteer application letter provided here as a starting point to craft an effective letter of your own.
Sample Volunteer Cover Letter Template
To access the volunteer application letter template, simply click the image below. The letter will open as a PDF file in a separate tab or window (depending on your computer's settings). Use this guide to printables if you need help with the document. Click anywhere in the document to change the text to meet your needs. Once you have made changes, save and/or print the document.
You may also want to view a few other cover letter examples before finalizing your volunteer opportunity request letter.
Best Practices for Volunteer Application Letters
Make your letter stand out by following best practices for writing a great cover letter. Key tips for writing this type of business letter include:
- Address the letter to a specific contact person rather than a general "to whom it may concern" greeting. (Call the organization and ask who the contact should be.)
- Use a standard business letter format.
- Ensure the tone of the letter is appropriate for professional communication.
- Make it clear that you are requesting volunteer work, not applying for a paid position.
- Explain why you're interested in volunteering with this particular organization.
- State what kind of volunteer work you would like to do for the group.
- Highlight what qualifies you to do this kind of work.
- Including your resume or a list of skills to emphasize your qualifications.
- Ask how to proceed with your efforts to become a volunteer.
- Include your telephone number and email address.
- End the letter with an appropriate business letter closing .
- Proofread closely, ensuring the letter is well-written and free from grammatical errors.
- Keep track of the volunteer application letters you send and follow-up with a phone call or email within a few weeks if you don't get a response.
Sending a Letter Requesting Volunteer Work
You can submit a printed volunteer cover letter via mail or hand-deliver it to the organization's office. You can also email your cover letter if you have the contact person's email address, which may be availalbe on the organization's website. If using email, you can send the PDF as an attachment or copy the text into the body of an email. Some organizations have electronic communication policies prohibiting workers from opening attachments sent by unknown sources, so it's possible that the recipient is more likely to read your message without at attachment. Be sure to use a subject line indicating that the message contains a volunteer opportunity request.
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Community Volunteer Cover Letter Examples
How to build a great community volunteer cover letter.
Community volunteers serve essential roles in their communities, from helping with community watch and security programs to volunteering at public gardens or other shared spaces. To earn a community volunteering role, it is important to write a cover letter that highlights both your qualifications and your personal drive for volunteering.
In this guide, we cover 5 key steps for writing a great community volunteer cover letter. Continue reading to learn how to:
- How to give your community volunteer cover letter visual appeal
- Why it is essential to personalize the content of your cover letter
- Which key details to include in your community volunteer introduction
- How you can showcase your qualifications as a community volunteer
- What to say in your cover letter conclusion to make it effective
1. How to give your community volunteer cover letter visual appeal
When applying to a position as a community volunteer, providing a volunteer organizer with a well-written, compelling cover letter is essential.
To start off your cover letter strong, you must give it visual appeal by creating a cover letter hader and cover letter headline .
Your header will always come first, placed in the top left corner of your letter. In a header, you should include all the vital information about who you are and who the intended recipient of the letter is.
This information includes:
- Your name and professional title
- Your professional contact information (email address, phone number, LinkedIn, etc.)
- The name of the organization you are applying to
Here is an example of a well-formatted community volunteer header
Jacob Jackson , Community Volunteer (123) 456-7890 | [email protected] | linkedin.com/in/jacob-jackson
To: McDowell Community Center 1234 Street Address Newark, NJ 07101
A few spaces below your header is where you should place your cover letter headline. The headline looks best centered on the page and should include four key elements:
- A keyword : The keyword should be related to the position — typically, the best keyword to use is the position title itself.
- A number or trigger word: A number or trigger word helps to outline how many key points there are in the cover letter, informing the reader of what they can expect from the letter.
- An adjective and/or verb: To give your headline a more intriguing sound and structure, you should include a powerful adjective or verb that describes you and your qualifications.
- A promise statement: It is important to let the reader know that this letter is written specifically for them — to accomplish this, include a personalized promise statement that directly references the person and/or their business.
Here is an example of an excellent headline from a community volunteer cover letter
3 Reasons Why I Love Community Volunteering & How This Passion Can Benefit Your Organization
Trigger Word/Number: 3 Reasons Keyword: Community Volunteering Adjective/Verb: Love, Benefit Promise: Your Organization
2. How to personalize the content of your cover letter
Your next key step in the cover letter writing process is to personalize the letter for a specific volunteer organizer or organization . Personalization is important, as it helps you make your letter much more relevant and valuable to the person reading it.
The personalization process is done by first researching the organization before writing and then using the information you gather within the letter. For instance, if the organization is currently working on a major community project, you could reference this project and explain how your skills can help them accomplish it.
Additionally, you should try to discover who is responsible for onboarding new volunteers, such as a head volunteer organizer. With this detail, you can create a personalized greeting that addresses this person by name, letting them know immediately about the research you have completed.
Here are 3 examples of personalized community volunteer cover letter greetings
Dear Head Volunteer Rachel Harris,
- Dear Volunteer Organizer Rachel Harris,
- Dear Ms. Rachel Harris,
3. How to write a compelling community volunteer cover letter introduction
As a community volunteer, your first primary goal with your cover letter should be to showcase your passion for service and volunteering — and there’s no better place to do this than in your introduction .
A cover letter introduction should include:
- A concise summary of your experience as a volunteer, including any specialized areas of expertise
- A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this organization
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible) — including a mutual acquaintance can help build rapport with the volunteer organizer, as well as provide them with a professional reference that they trust. To gain a mutual acquaintance, try networking through professional platforms like LinkedIn.
Here is an example of a strong introduction from a community volunteer cover letter
As a community volunteer with more than 4 years of experience working in community youth centers, I was beyond thrilled to learn of your center’s volunteering opportunities. I am passionate about working with underprivileged youth in my community to help provide them with the resources and support needed to excel at both school and home. My mentor Ms. Lisa May, a local social worker that often works with your center, let me know about this opportunity and encouraged me to apply.
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4. How to showcase your qualifications as a community volunteer
A great community volunteer can possess many different skills and qualifications — the key is to determine which are most relevant to the position at hand .
No matter which skills, accomplishments, or other qualifications you choose to include, make sure to relate them back to the position as much as possible. For instance, if you are applying for a position as a community volunteer in a local garden, describe your teamwork skills and how they can benefit the community garden team.
Here are 6 skills to describe in a community volunteer cover letter
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Communicating with community members
- Administrative tasks
- Leadership (describe a specific leadership style)
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a cover letter
As a community volunteer for a local homeless shelter, I helped with community outreach to gather donations for the shelter food bank. In this role, I helped to develop a new outreach incentive program that increased donations by more than 15% per month.
5. How to conclude your community volunteer cover letter effectively
The final step to writing your community volunteer cover letter is to write an effective conclusion . In this conclusion, make sure to include:
- An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
- How and when you can best be contacted
- When you plan to follow up
- A formal sign-off
Here is an example of a great conclusion from a community volunteer cover letter
As the newest volunteer at your organization, I know I can help uplift and support the local community with compassion and commitment. I greatly look forward to hearing from you and hope to hear back by next Tuesday regarding this volunteer opportunity. Please reach me any time Monday through Friday before 5 p.m., or between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.
Julia is a professional writer, translator and graphic designer. She holds degrees in translation and interpretation, and has international work experience from a number of different countries in Europe as well as China and Panama. Julia formerly taught academic writing and as a graphic designer contributed to outlets such as The Business of Business . She has a passion for lifelong learning and good coffee.
All volunteering cover letter examples
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Volunteer Cover Letter Sample and Writing Guide (Template)
Want to crush your interview.
Learn how to ace your interview with superior confidence.
Writing a volunteer cover letter? Volunteering appeals to people for a variety of reasons. They may like to obtain professional experience, expand their personal network, and/or contribute to their communities.
It's crucial to know how to create a professional volunteer cover letter if you want to seek a volunteer position. We'll go through what to include in a volunteer cover letter, writing suggestions, and a sample of a successful cover letter in this post.
What should you include in a volunteer cover letter?
Here's what should be included in your cover letter.
Full name and address
Start your cover letter by writing your name, home address, and primary phone number at the top, whether you're writing a physical letter or sending an email.
This lets your receiver know who you are and provides them with your contact information. Include your email address under your name if you're mailing a physical letter.
A short salutation or greeting should begin your letter. This should be courteous and professional, with the recipient's name mentioned if feasible.
If you don't know who will be reading your letter, use the conventional format of "Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name." Avoid " Dear Sir or Madam ."
If you're not sure who to address your letter to, look into the department you could be working in and see if there's a possible contact there.
Note: If you don't know the preferred prefix of the professional you're writing to, you can use "Mx" as a starting prefix. This is a gender-neutral start to the cover letter.
An opening paragraph or introduction
Your letter's first full paragraph introduces you to your receiver/letter recipient. A brief overview of who you are and why you are interested in the role should be included. You might also include where or how you learned about the opportunity in this line.
You should explain why you are a good match for the role in this paragraph.
The following should be included in the body of your letter:
- Your education: List your degrees, majors, and the names of the colleges and universities you've attended. Because many organizations have educational criteria for volunteers, it's critical that you disclose your greatest degree of education.
- Work experience: Concentrate on describing any relevant professional experience for the role. If you have volunteered or worked for another group, make sure to provide your title as well as the name of your employer or supervisor.
- Skills and competencies: Finally, make a note of any special talents that are pertinent to the role. Teamwork, work ethic, interpersonal skills , and time management are examples of general abilities. You should also list any technical talents you have that are relevant to the duties you will be undertaking.
You may also mention any professional accomplishments or certificates that illustrate your abilities in the body of your letter.
A closing paragraph
A expression of thanks should be included in the closing paragraph of your cover letter, thanking your recipient for taking the time to read and consider your message.
You should also reiterate your interest in the job and give an outline of your availability.
Finish by expressing your eagerness to hear from the company and promising a follow-up email.
Include a professional sign-off beneath your conclusion, such as "Sincerely," or "With warm regards." If you're sending an email, enter your complete name first, followed by your contact details.
If you're sending a physical letter, type your name, print the letter, then sign your name beneath the closure.
How to write a volunteer cover letter
Tips for writing your cover letter for a volunteer position.
Do your research
Do your homework. Investigate the organization before applying. Find out who you should send your letter to, what opportunities are available, and what the volunteer criteria are. Knowing this information in advance will allow you to be more precise in the body of your cover letter.
Pro tip: Cover letters should always get tailored to the application letter or company you're sending this to. Make sure to tailor your resume as well.
Make a plan. Consider why you want to volunteer when you're drafting your letter. Perhaps you want to earn experience or skills, or you want to find a fulfilling way to give back to your community. Incorporating these objectives into your letter will assist your recipient in determining whether or not the position is a suitable fit for you.
Pro tip: If you're sending this cover letter as an email, use a simple subject line. "Your name - volunteer work," for example.
Keep your cover letter concise
Keep it short and sweet. Every week, your receiver may get dozens of volunteer applications. They may just spend a few minutes on each letter that passes their desk for the sake of efficiency. Limit your cover letter to one page.
Volunteer cover letter example
A volunteer cover letter sample.
1114 Main Street
Geneva, IL 60174
May 21st, 2021
Childhood Care Centers
223 Summer Drive
Dear Ms. Hills
I'd like to interview with Childhood Care Centers for a volunteer program. I have significant experience dealing with children, and the prospect of volunteering as a counselor excites me much.
I volunteered as a teacher's assistant at Wild Rose Elementary School in Illinois, where I had a great time assisting children with in-class activities. I was responsible for putting up classroom projects, providing one-on-one tutoring sessions to the students, and accompanying the class on field excursions as a teacher's helper.
I worked as a lifeguard at a local recreation center last winter. I earned my CPR certification, childhood development certification, and received first-aid training.
If you're looking for volunteer counselors for your summer camps, I'd be honored to be considered for the role. I feel my qualifications and expertise would make me a great addition to your company. I also hope that through volunteering, I will be able to get more experience as an early childhood educator, which is the subject in which I intend to major when I start college next year.
My summer schedule is fairly flexible, and I may volunteer in the evenings, weekends, and throughout the day. I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!
Volunteer cover letter template
Hiring Manager’s Name/Recruiter’s Name
Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. (Hiring Manager’s Last Name):
When possible, address the reader or specific person the job application is getting sent to.
Use this as a way of telling the hiring manager that the resume and cover letter have gotten designed around their ideas/values.
Keep it brief. Mention that you believe these accomplishments show relevant skills and abilities that make you a perfect fir to the volunteer work. And/or why you should be one of the volunteers.
Close your cover letter with a clear call to action. Mention available times to have a phone interview. Or suggest they continue to read your resume for more insights on what you can bring to the company.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration,
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I'm looking forward to speaking with you and the team.
Related Hiring Resources
- Best Volunteer Resignation Letter Example (+ Free Template Download)
- How to List Volunteer Work Experience on a Resume (With Examples)
About the author
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How to Write a Volunteer Application to Protect Your Charity
Basics of a Volunteer Application
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Volunteer Application Example
Next steps and some resources, going beyond the application.
Joanne Fritz is an expert on nonprofit organizations and philanthropy. She has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits.
Charities depend on volunteers. However, they have conflicting needs when it comes to those volunteers. They must recruit volunteers by being friendly and welcoming. But on the other hand, charities also need to be careful about choosing those volunteers.
There are many horror stories about inadequately vetted volunteers harming a nonprofit's clients, especially when there are at-risk populations such as children or the elderly.
To protect the organization and volunteers, a volunteer application should be one of the first steps in your volunteer recruitment process .
Safeguards to Consider (What to Watch Out For)
Your organization, including its staff and board members, could be held responsible for illegal acts of volunteers unless there are adequate safeguards and supervision. Also, volunteers could be personally liable should they cause injury in the course of their volunteer work.
Safeguards against liability that accompany incorporation, umbrella insurance policies, and federal and state laws protect nonprofits up to a point, but only if organizations perform due diligence.
That due diligence starts with the volunteer application.
What to Include on a Volunteer Application
It is tough sometimes to put volunteers who only want to help through the hassle of background checks and application forms, but this is an issue that should not be neglected.
Make it Friendly
You can quickly make your application friendlier and welcoming for volunteers by writing some introductory paragraphs that explain what your organization does, its mission, who you serve, and the contributions of your many volunteers.
Putting some of this information into an employee handbook can help keep your application form from becoming too long and daunting. Provide a link to your handbook on your application.
Summarize some of the roles your volunteers fulfill, the training they receive, and how you make volunteering fun . After all, you want to recruit energized and happy volunteers. Your application will ask for some pretty serious information, so start with a friendly face.
Collect the Most Vital Information
Nonprofits should check with legal counsel about necessary safeguards and help draft or approve the volunteer application form.
Those forms vary from organization to organization but typically include at least some of the following components. Pick and choose elements depending on the nature of your work and the population you serve.
- Contact information, including an email address
- Social security number (only necessary for background or credit checks)
- Emergency contact, the relationship of the contact, address, and phone number
- Previous work or volunteer experience
- The highest education level reached
- Language/s spoken
- Physical limitations
- Current Employer
- Other organizations where the applicant has volunteered
- Description of training or experience that may be pertinent to the volunteer position desired.
- Statement of and description of prior criminal convictions or offenses
- Certifications such as First Aid and CPR with dates of certification and expiration dates
- Valid driver's license # (important if driving is involved)
- References: One or more personal references with contact information; and one or more professional or work-related references with the supervisor's name and contact information
- Skills checklist (list skills needed in the organization's volunteer positions such as computer, tutoring, administrative skills, phone calls, teaching, supervision).
- Preferred volunteer areas (list regular volunteer jobs that applicant can check if interested)
- Reason for volunteering
- How did you hear about us?
- Hours and days available for volunteer work
- Include any disclaimers from the organization. For instance, you could include a fair and equal opportunity statement and a list of requirements for volunteers, such as reference checks, interviews, trial period, and required training.
- Signature of applicant and date of signature.
Consider including a release from liability statement that the applicant must sign. The National Council of Nonprofit Organizations has sample liability statements that you may want to consult.
Here is a basic volunteer application. The example may help guide you to the information you most likely want to include and suggested formatting. Of course, only use the example as a starting point, modifying it to fit your particular organization. See the sample below and download the template (available in Google Docs and Word Online).
Make the Application Accessible
Most nonprofits make their volunteer applications available online, as well as on-site. Sometimes they can be submitted online or printed out for the volunteer to mail in. A PDF will make the process reasonably effortless.
For an example of a comprehensive application, see this one from Johns Hopkins Hospital . Most small organizations will need a much simpler form to kick off the process.
Spread the Net
Do consider using one of the many volunteer portals to reach and attract volunteers. These portals allow you to post a minimal job description and requirements and then direct prospects to your website for more information. Some portals even help with background checks. Well-known portals include VolunteerMatch , All for Good , and Idealist .
Your application should not be your only screening tool. Be sure to follow up with an interview that may identify both the negative and positive attributes of your potential volunteers. You would never hire a staff member without a thorough interview. Likewise, interviewing your potential volunteers not only helps you place them in an appropriate position, but also provides valuable clues about their background and character.
Sometimes, an interview will turn up unique skills and talents that the volunteer did not even realize might help your organization. Is the volunteer a good writer, a photographer, or have artistic skills? Conversely, ask about what the volunteer doesn't want to do. Perhaps clerical work isn't their preference, or they don't wish to perform jobs that they already do in their regular lives. Maybe they want to build specific skills or learn something new.
The Bottom Line
Building a reliable volunteer force for your charity doesn't need to be overly complicated, but it does require a system. The first part of that system is to provide an application form that can be filled out quickly and submitted efficiently. Learn from the experience of thousands of other charities and create your application form using best practices.
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- How to Write a Job Description That Your Volunteers Will Love
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- 19 Essential Samples and Templates for Nonprofit Organizations
- Sample Cover Letter for a Volunteer Position
- Writing the Organizational Background Section for a Grant Proposal
- Common Nonprofit Startup Mistakes
- How Even Small Charities Can Get Corporate Sponsorships
- How to Write a Great Case Statement for Fundraising
- How Charities Substantiate Donations and Their Required Disclosures
- Why Does It Take the IRS So Long to Approve My Tax Exempt Application?
- How to Find Your Ideal Nonprofit Job
- Nonprofit Salaries: Laws and Average Pay
- 3 Ways to Recruit Volunteers for Your Nonprofit
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6 Volunteer Cover Letter Examples
Volunteers are the unsung heroes of any organization, selflessly dedicating their time and energy to causes they believe in. Much like a volunteer, your cover letter gives selflessly, offering a glimpse into your passion, commitment, and the unique skills you bring to the table. In this guide, we'll delve into the best cover letter examples for Volunteers, helping you to craft a narrative that showcases your dedication and altruistic spirit.
Cover Letter Examples
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The best way to start a volunteer cover letter is by introducing yourself and expressing your enthusiasm for the volunteering opportunity. Mention the specific role you're interested in and why it appeals to you. It's also beneficial to highlight any relevant skills or experiences that make you a good fit for the role. Remember, the goal is to show the organization that you're not only capable but also genuinely interested in contributing to their cause.
Volunteers should end a cover letter by summarizing their interest in the role and the unique skills or experiences they bring. They should also express gratitude for the reader's time and consideration. A strong closing might be: "I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my skills and passion to [organization's name]. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my potential contributions further." It's also important to include contact information, even if it's already on the header of the letter. This makes it easy for the reader to reach out. Finally, end with a professional closing like "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your name. As a volunteer, showing enthusiasm, gratitude, and professionalism in your closing leaves a positive impression.
A volunteer's cover letter should ideally be one page long. This length is enough to succinctly present your skills, experiences, and passion for the cause without overwhelming the reader. Remember, the organization you're applying to likely receives numerous applications, so it's important to keep your cover letter concise and to the point. Use clear, direct language to explain why you're interested in the volunteer position, what you can bring to the organization, and how your past experiences (volunteer or otherwise) have prepared you for this role.
Writing a cover letter with no volunteer experience can seem challenging, but it's important to remember that everyone starts somewhere. Here are some steps to guide you: 1. Start with a professional greeting: Address the hiring manager or the person in charge of volunteers by their name if it's available. If not, use a general greeting like "Dear Volunteer Coordinator". 2. Write a compelling opening paragraph: Introduce yourself and express your interest in the volunteer position. Mention where you found the opportunity and why it appeals to you. 3. Highlight relevant skills and experiences: Even if you don't have volunteer experience, you likely have skills that are relevant to the position. Think about your past experiences in school, work, or other activities. Have you demonstrated leadership, teamwork, or problem-solving skills? Have you worked with diverse groups of people or handled challenging situations? These are all valuable in a volunteer context. 4. Show enthusiasm and commitment: Nonprofits value volunteers who are passionate about their cause and reliable in their commitment. Show that you've done your research about the organization and its mission, and express your enthusiasm for contributing to it. 5. Explain what you hope to gain: Volunteering is a two-way street. While you're offering your time and skills, you're also there to learn and grow. Whether you're hoping to gain new skills, experience in a particular field, or a deeper understanding of a cause you care about, sharing this can show that you're motivated and invested in the role. 6. Close professionally: Thank the reader for considering your application, express your hope for the opportunity to contribute, and provide your contact information. 7. Proofread: Make sure your cover letter is free of errors and is professionally presented. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere. Even without direct experience, your enthusiasm, commitment, and transferable skills can make a strong impression.
Related Cover Letters for Volunteers
Fundraising cover letter.
Social Worker Cover Letter
Program Coordinator Cover Letter
Event Planner Cover Letter
Volunteer Cover Letter
Community Volunteer Cover Letter
Student volunteer cover letter, school volunteer cover letter, community involvement cover letter, church volunteer cover letter, related resumes for volunteers, volunteer resume example, try our ai-powered resume builder.
Sample Email Cover Letter for a Volunteer Position
Author Mollie Sherman
Posted Apr 22, 2023
If you're looking to apply for a volunteer position, chances are you will need to submit a cover letter. A sample email cover letter can be a great starting point for unpaid applicants who are interested in gaining valuable experience and donating their time and effort. In some cases, volunteer roles can even lead to paid positions down the line.
Tips for Writing a Volunteer Cover Letter
Sample cover letter email for computer science, mastering the art of sending cover letters via email.
Crafting a well-written and thoughtful volunteer cover letter can help you stand out from other applicants and make it clear that you're a good fit for the role. Your cover letter should communicate your interest in the position, as well as your qualifications and any relevant experience you may have. It's also important to highlight how much time you are able to commit to volunteering, whether it's just a single afternoon or a longer period of time where you'll be able to supervise other volunteers or help out at short-staffed organizations.
Tips for Writing a Volunteer Cover Letter: Your cover letter is the first impression you make on a potential employer, so it's essential to make it count. When volunteering written a cover letter , keep in mind that it should be tailored to the specific volunteer position you're applying for. Highlight your skills and experiences that are relevant to the role and show your enthusiasm for the opportunity. A well-crafted cover letter can help set you apart from other applicants and land you the volunteer position of your dreams.
Note: When it comes to cover letters, whether they are written for paid employment or volunteer positions, the same principles apply. Cover letters are your chance to showcase your skills and experience and grab the attention of hiring managers or organizations looking to fill job openings. Reviewing sample email cover letters can help you find potential matches for the position listed and express your interest in letting them know why you're the best fit for the role. For instance, volunteers who have experience working at an animal shelter may be interested in volunteer roles that involve office administration or have a good phone manner.
Note: Writing a cover letter can be intimidating, but it's an essential part of the job application process. Your cover letter should highlight your relevant skills and experience that make you a prepared candidate for the position. Before you begin drafting, take some time to research the organization, familiarizing yourself with their mission and values. A well-written cover letter can set you apart from other candidates and increase your chances of getting hired.
If you're a computer science graduate seeking a software engineer position , you might be wondering what to include in your email cover letter. Well, look no further! The subject line "Software Engineer Carl Espinar Seeks Position" would be an excellent start. Begin your email with "Dear Ms. Gallardo," or the name of the hiring manager.
In the body of your email, explain why you are excited about this software engineer position and why you are the perfect candidate. Show that you've done your homework by mentioning that you're a huge fan of their company and have been studying game development religiously for 5 years . Also, mention that you were an integral part of making 2nd runner-up in the Game Developers Choice Award.
Lastly, describe how you can contribute to their team if given the chance. Say something like "I believe my skills as a software engineer and my passion for making great work make me a great addition to your high-end clients." Don't forget to attach your resume and any other relevant documents to complete your email cover letter.
The art of sending a cover letter via email is one that every job seeker should master. The email message itself should be professional, concise, and engaging. When creating an email attachment for your cover letter, make sure it's in a format that's easily readable by the recipient.
The subject line of the email is also very important as it's what will entice the recipient to open your email. Keep your subject line short and sweet, and avoid using generic phrases like "job application " or "- volunteer application". Instead, use the company name or job title to personalize it. Mastering how to send cover letters via email can be challenging at first but with practice, you'll be able to craft a compelling message that stands out from the rest.
Additional Sample Cover Letters
Looking for additional sample cover letters? You're in luck! Cover letters can vary depending on the job you're applying for, so it's important to target your cover letter to the specific job and company. Review cover letter samples from a variety of career fields and employment levels including an internship cover letter sample entry-level targeted towards recent graduates.
Sample Email Cover Letter for Internships
Are you a recent graduate looking for a marketing internship? Heidi Parker, a student business podcast host and marketing specialist from Mexico State University, has the perfect email cover letter example for you. The subject line reads "Marketing BS Heidi Parker Seeks Internship," and it's addressed to Mr. Zimmer.
In the email, she introduces herself and briefly discusses her experience with digital marketing campaigns, cancer research, and Maunterz Inc.'s work. She also mentions that her copious address info, email add linkedin, and portfolio site are attached for review.
Heidi's expert tip is to choose a clean font and highlight it in your preferred color to make your email cover letter stand out among the rest. With 21 resume templates to choose from, you'll be the perfect candidate in no time! So what are you waiting for? Click here to read more about Heidi's quick zappy approach to writing an email cover letter that gets clicks - you won't regret it!
Crafting the Perfect Cover Letter: A Guide to Get Noticed
A cover letter is your first chance to impress potential employers and stand out from other applicants. When applying for a volunteer position, mention any related work or volunteer experience you have, as well as any relevant experience and skills you possess. Make sure to include examples that demonstrate how you can contribute to the organization's mission statement and values, aligning yourself with their core principles.
A professional cover letter should always include letters of recommendation written by those who can attest to your experience and skills. Additionally, it is important to include professional references who can vouch for your character and work ethic. While paid employment may not be necessary, volunteering opportunities are a great way to gain relevant experience and showcase your dedication to the cause at hand.
When writing a cover letter, be sure to keep it professional and concise. Highlight why you are interested in the organization's human resources department and what specifically draws you to their mission statement and values. By following these guidelines, you will increase your chances of landing the volunteer position you desire while getting noticed by potential employers in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should a cover letter say.
A cover letter should introduce yourself, explain why you are interested in the job, and highlight your relevant skills and experience. It should also express your enthusiasm for the company and the position.
How do you email a cover letter?
To email a cover letter, attach it as a separate document to your email along with your resume. Make sure to write a brief message in the body of the email introducing yourself and explaining why you are applying for the job.
How to write a volunteer request letter?
To write a volunteer request letter, start by introducing yourself and your organization, state the purpose of the letter, explain the importance of volunteers, and provide details on how to get involved. Keep the tone polite and professional.
What is a cover letter for volunteering?
A cover letter for volunteering is a one-page document that introduces yourself to a potential volunteer organization and highlights your relevant skills and experiences. It helps you stand out from other applicants and shows your commitment to the cause.
What is the worst thing to do in an email cover letter?
The worst thing to do in an email cover letter is to use a generic template and not personalize it for the specific job you are applying for, as this shows lack of effort and interest in the position.
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Writer at CGAA
Mollie Sherman is an experienced and accomplished article author who has been writing for over 15 years. She specializes in health, nutrition, and lifestyle topics, with a focus on helping people understand the science behind everyday decisions. Mollie has published hundreds of articles in leading magazines and websites, including Women's Health, Shape Magazine, Cooking Light, and MindBodyGreen.
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Free Job Application Letter for Volunteer
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Free Download this Job Application Letter for Volunteer Design in Word, Google Docs, PDF, Apple Pages, Outlook Format. Easily Editable, Printable, Downloadable.
Want to try your hand at some volunteer work? If that is the case, then maybe you should take a closer look at the Free Job Application Letter for Volunteer. This download is free and comes highly customizable. Print this out at home or commercially.
JOB APPLICATION LETTER FOR VOLUNTEER
Dear [RECIPIENT NAME]
I am writing this letter to express and convey my intention to apply as a volunteer in your organization. I like the fact that [COMPANY NAME] is a registered organization that provides social and charitable services to specific sectors in the society [DETAIL]. I am very interested and eager to help your organization achieve its goals and objectives even in the absence of compensation on my end.
I want to become a volunteer in your organization because [REASON]. In terms of credentials, I am a graduate of [DEGREE/DIPLOMA] at [INSTITUTE NAME]. I am also a member of various organizations such as [DETAIL 1]. I am also currently working at [YOUR COMPANY NAME]. I know that my work schedule will not affect my participation in the said organization because it is flexible and manageable. I will be truly happy if you consider my application and approve it for me to start helping you with your activities and programs. I look forward to hearing from you. If you have certain questions that you want to clarify, you may contact me using this number [YOUR PHONE NUMBER].
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Ask Amy: Fellow volunteer keeps asking me to use Photoshopped images
Dear Amy: “Carlos” and I are both volunteers for an arts organization. Before knowing him well, I emailed him a photograph I entered into two juried exhibitions. The photo was chosen both times and has been exhibited.
Carlos lists himself as a photographer, which is why I chose to share it. He wrote back, asking whether I’d ever heard of Photoshop. He then sent me his Photoshopped version of my photo, along with an explanation of how he had “fixed” it. I didn’t respond. It didn’t have anything to do with our volunteer work, so I let it go.
Then, another person sent him two photographs for us to use in publicizing an event for our organization. Carlos replied to that person, CC’ing me, and sent her his Photoshopped versions of her photos.
He then asked me to use those photos and provided text he wrote that I was to copy and paste verbatim for a social media post. (I alone handle social media posts for the organization.) I’m not using a Photoshopped picture. I’m insulted for the photographer. And I’m also not using his text. Once again, I just ignored his email, but I want this to stop.
The posts I make for our events get very good responses. Our event turnout is improving. Any advice?
— Frustrated Volunteer
Frustrated: Returning an original photo to the photographer in a Photoshopped state is extremely disrespectful. “Fixing” any creator’s work is completely inappropriate. Also … illegal. Following is language published on the U.S. Copyright Office’s website :
“Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” This means that you own the copyright to any work you create.
If this happens again, you should respond: “Please don’t Photoshop any photographer’s original work — other than your own. As a photographer, you know that choices made by photographers are intentional and don’t need ‘fixing.’ Photos are protected by copyright and are the property of the photographer. Using Photoshopped work could result in legal trouble for our organization. Thank you for understanding.”
Dear Amy: I’m a man and am getting mixed responses from the women in my life over a recent visit to my doctor for a medical exam. It is not the first time this has happened, but it continues to be an awkward situation for me.
My visit starts, as usual, with the heart rate and blood pressure check. I’m asked to put my arm on the table toward the person doing the exam. In my latest exam, my hand bumped up against the lady’s bosom as she positioned the cuff for the blood pressure check.
I asked some of the women in my life how to respond when this happens. Do I leave my arm where she positioned it or move it away subtly and politely to spare us embarrassment? Then again, is it just me?
My wife said the woman taking my blood pressure probably couldn’t feel it. My daughter-in-law thinks I should move it.
Anything I do would seem awkward. Point me in the right direction, Amy.
— A Bit Shy in Montana
Shy: The person measuring your blood pressure is placing your arm for the optimal position for this part of the exam. My instinct is that she/he does this many times a day and doesn’t necessarily notice the occasional brushes.
However, this makes you uncomfortable, so you should either instinctively move your arm slightly or say, “Excuse me, can I shift my arm a little bit?”
Dear Amy: I agree wholeheartedly with your response to “ Baffled in Boston, ” the younger brother who had been bullied by his big brother. I had a “perfect” older sister who took full advantage of my more emotional personality, which often ended with me getting into trouble.
My mom and I were with her at the end of her life, and one time when Mom was out of the room, she shared some memories of her youth and how she’d resented me for being “the child our parents had wanted.”
She was conceived before they were married, and she had always felt as if she couldn’t possibly live up to their expectations. That half-hour conversation gave me closure on years of resentment, along with a ton of love and compassion for her.
— Wishing She Were Still Here
Wishing: I’m feeling it, too. Thank you.
© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.
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