How to Write a Volunteer Cover Letter


When seeking to volunteer for an organization, use the same preparation as if you were seeking a paid position. Your cover letter should indicate a knowledge of the organization. You should pitch your abilities and how you could be an asset. Most importantly, personalize your letter. That will certainly make it stand out and get noticed.

  • Research the company or organization where you want to volunteer. In particular,know its mission statement, organizational structure and how it uses its volunteers. For example, some nonprofits rely on volunteers year round to provide vital functions, for example, building housing for the homeless. Other companies use volunteers on a seasonal basis for special events or marketing research.

  • Address your letter to the appropriate individual in the human resources department or the community outreach organizer. Use the individual's proper title and double check the spelling.

  • Stress how your special skills, education and background can benefit the organization and why you want to volunteer. Are you seeking training? Are you hoping to land full-time employment or college credit? Are you using the volunteer position to help your religious, school or civic organization meet a fundraising goal? Be honest and the reader of the letter will respond positively.

  • Indicate in the cover letter how many hours a week you can volunteer and any special preferences you have about working days, evenings or weekends. Volunteering offers you great flexibility.

  • Include a funny anecdote about yourself in the body of the letter and conclude with contact information.

  • Attach the cover letter to a resume if you have one, and follow-up with a phone call.

  • Hand deliver the letter if possible. It adds a personal touch and you might meet the person in charge of the volunteer placements.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never make it seem like you are doing the company a favor by volunteering.

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