Sample Cover Letter for a Volunteer Position

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Tips for Writing a Cover Letter to Volunteer

What to include in a cover letter for volunteering, how to send an email cover letter.

When applying for any professional position, it is good form to include a cover letter with your resume. Your cover letter is an opportunity to highlight some of your most relevant qualifications and experiences, enhance your resume, and increase your chances of being called for an interview.

This is true for volunteer positions as well as for paid ones. Your cover letter is an opportunity to share your interest in an organization and explain why you'd like to volunteer with the group.

Here's advice on what to include in a cover letter for volunteering, an example, a template to download, and tips for emailing your letter.

There are many reasons why you may be considering applying for a volunteer position. Perhaps you are hoping to volunteer as a way of exploring a possible career field. Or, you may feel passionate about a cause and wish to help “make a difference.”

It may be that volunteering is a required component of a school, church, or club program.

Whatever your reason, a strong cover letter will help you to gain positive attention and—hopefully—to garner a personal interview for the volunteer role you are interested in.

Include Relevant Experience

When you’re writing a cover letter for a volunteer position, whenever possible, you should try to call on your experience that is most relevant to the volunteer role. Give some thought to what you believe will be your responsibilities as a volunteer, and then write a list of your experiences that have prepared you to assume these particular tasks.

Show How You're a Fit

The relevancy of your background experience is more important than whether it was voluntary, paid, or recreational. If you don’t have relevant experience, then do your best to connect your professional, academic, extracurricular, and/or personal history to the position, explaining why you think you are a great fit for the organization and how your skill set will enable you to become a strong contributor to their mission.

Explain Why You Want to Volunteer

You should also provide some reasoning as to why you are applying to volunteer. After all, in most cases, volunteering is completely “voluntary,” so the organization will want to know what’s motivating your application. 

If you aren’t applying on your own volition—if it is part of some requirement for school, work, or something else—then it’s best not to mention anything that would cause the organization to doubt your genuine interest and enthusiasm for the opportunity.

Include Your Contact Information

Finally, you should end your letter with a brief description of your availability, along with the best way to contact you.

You can use this cover letter sample as a model. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

Here's an example of a cover letter written for a volunteer position.

Sample Cover Letter for a Volunteer Position (Text Version)

Brady Applicant

123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 brady.applicant@email.com

May 4, 2021

Jackson Lee Director Greenleaf Child Center 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lee,

I am interested in an opportunity to volunteer with the Greenleaf Child Center. I have significant experience working with children and would like to continue to do so in a volunteer capacity.

I volunteered as a teacher’s aide at the Champlain School and enjoyed being able to help kindergarteners learn during their first experience in a classroom. In this position, I assisted with classroom projects, provided one-on-one literacy tutoring to the children, and chaperoned field trips. I also contributed additional time, outside of my set hours, to stay after school and assist with extracurricular activities.

For the past several winters, I volunteered with children on the slopes of a local ski resort, assisting coaches with teaching basic skiing to toddlers and elementary school-age children.

If the Greenleaf Center has a need for a dedicated volunteer, I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to assist. I believe it would be an excellent opportunity to develop my interest in early childhood education, a field I wish to study and pursue professionally in the future.

My schedule is flexible, and I am available to volunteer both evening and weekend hours, as well as during the day. Please feel free to reach out to me via email or cell phone.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss any potential opportunities at the Greenleaf Child Center.

Thanks for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Brady Applicant (signature hard copy letter)

If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the reason you're writing in the subject line of the email message:

Subject:  Volunteer Position - Brady Applicant

Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer's contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.

Here's how to format an email cover letter and more details on sending an email cover letter.

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Sample Email Cover Letter for a Volunteer Position

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

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  • 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 barry.applicant@gmail.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. 

Sincerely, 

Barry Applicant (signature hard copy letter)

Barry Applicant

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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Volunteer letter work is a noble endeavor. In soup kitchens, we hear motivational stories from war veterans and down-on-their-luck individuals. In doing schoolyard work as part of a nonprofit template , we help make a social statement by building the environments in which the minds of future leaders, teachers, and nation builders are molded.

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How to Write An Application Letter for a Volunteer Job:

  • Keep your letter professional – Although you are applying for a volunteer job, it is still imperative to write the letter in the same manner as you are applying for a paid position.
  • Format your letter – A properly formatted application letter design can help you look professional and perfect for the position.
  • Address the letter to the recipient’s appropriate title – If ever no contact person is listed in the job posting, a great strategy to get away with is to use a subject line instead of a formal salutation.
  • Introduce yourself, explain your interest and how you are the perfect candidate for the position – Let us take for example you are volunteering to tutor children. You can express your interest in teaching children along with your academic experience as a teacher.
  • Wrap it up by giving details on the specifics of what you are able to commit – You should provide the hiring party how much time you can allocate each week. Your availability is a crucial factor that helps determine whether you are the one who they think is perfect for the job.
  • Write a professional closing – Before you send your application letter, it is important to formally thank the recipient for his time and consideration. You can also use formal closings, such as “Best Regards,” “Sincerely Yours,” and “Warm Regards.”

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Volunteer Cover Letter (With Examples)

    Updated July 5, 2023 People pursue volunteer opportunities for many reasons. They might want to gain professional experience, widen their personal network and/or give back to their communities. If you are planning to pursue a volunteer opportunity, it is important to know how to write a professional volunteer cover letter.

  2. Sample Cover Letter for a Volunteer Position

    By Alison Doyle Updated on 05/06/21 When applying for any professional position, it is good form to include a cover letter with your resume. Your cover letter is an opportunity to highlight some of your most relevant qualifications and experiences, enhance your resume, and increase your chances of being called for an interview.

  3. Sample Email Cover Letter for a Volunteer Position

    Sample Letter for a Volunteer Position Emailing Your Cover Letter Photo: Ariel Skelley / Getty Images If you're looking to volunteer, you likely know that it involves donating your time, effort, and service.

  4. 11+ Job Application Letter For Volunteer

    11+ Job Application Letter For Volunteer - Free Sample, Example Format Download Letters 11+ Sample Job Application Letters for Volunteers Volunteer letter work is a noble endeavor. In soup kitchens, we hear motivational stories from war veterans and down-on-their-luck individuals.

  5. Application Letter for Volunteering Templates & Examples

    Sarah Wilkinson ǀHow to Write an Application Letter for Volunteeringǀ Volunteering with an organization can help you make a difference in your community, learn new skills, meet new people, or even get your foot in the door for a future paid opportunity.