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Volunteer Cover Letter Example

Use this Volunteer cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Volunteer positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
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Volunteer Cover Letter Example
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What’s the difference between a successful job application for a volunteer and someone pursuing a paid position? Actually, there isn’t much at all — an answer you may find surprising. With so many volunteer positions based on heart and passion for the role, an exceptional volunteer cover letter can give you an advantage over other applicants who haven’t included one. 

No matter what form of volunteering you’ve decided to pursue, we’re here to help you create an interview-winning cover letter. With 300+ writing guides and occupation-specific cover letter examples, Resume.io is a resource for candidates in all fields and at all experience levels. This writing guide, backed by volunteering cover letter example, will cover these topics:

  • The best format for structuring a cover letter
  • How each cover letter section conveys you’re an ideal volunteer job fit: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion
  • Writing psychology to persuade recruiters that you’re a lucky find for the volunteer workforce
  • Common cover letter mistakes to avoid.
Statistical insight

The job market for volunteers is recession-proof and guaranteed to never dry up for any reason, anywhere on the planet. Consider these facts posted by TRVST, an organization championing global change-making initiatives. 

  • The number of volunteers worldwide — over 1 billion — exceeds the number of unemployed people in six out of 10 of the most populous countries.
  • The efforts of volunteers worldwide are equal to 109 million full-time workers.
  • Approximately 25% of the U.S. adult population are volunteers, declining from 28% between 2003 and 2005.

Best format for a volunteer cover letter

Your volunteer cover letter should be structured exactly the same way as it would be for a paid job opportunity in the same field. These are the sections to include:

  • Cover letter header
  • Cover letter greeting
  • Cover letter introduction
  • Cover letter body
  • Cover letter closing.

The overall guidelines for reader-friendliness are also the same. 

  • Keep it short — no more than a single page, and 400 words maximum.
  • Make it eye-pleasing in a professionally polished sense — clean and streamlined, with ample white space.
  • Readability takes precedence when choosing fonts and non-distracting design elements.

Here is an adaptable volunteer cover letter example that you can customize for the position and hiring organization:

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr. Sonnenheim,

| am writing as an aspiring soccer coach to see whether there is an opportunity to volunteer at the Boston Cubs? Having played soccer since I was 13, I had to curtail my playing career last year due to injury and would love to give back to the game during my sports science degree.

I have no formal coaching experience; but would be keen to take on my first coaching qualifications alongside the volunteer work. A friend of mine helped out last year and he said that you are open to such arrangements. I have worked with the 11-16 age group previously at summer camps and I enjoy helping kids make the most of their potential and love watching them challenge themselves.

I have a solid understanding of the tactics of soccer, but realize that much of the initial work will be organizational and logistical. I am a qualified minivan driver and was a treasurer for my college theater group, so hopefully I have other skills that may come in useful for the club. Due to my previous work with schoolchildren, I have all recent background checks and can share 35+ positive references from parents and participants.

I live ten minutes walk away from your training ground and have watched the kids play every now and again on my weekend strolls. They all seem to have so much fun and I would love to be a part of that journey for them.

I would relish the opportunity to come along and discuss what else I might be able to contribute to the Cubs.

Sincerely,
Bridgette Cole

Copied!

Cover letter header

The header lends off-the-top importance to your volunteer cover letter’s overall goal — to attract favorable attention leading to a job interview. It serves two key purposes:

  • Readily identifies who you are and how the recruiter can contact you for an interview.
  • Visually sets your volunteer application apart from countless others that may be overwhelming busy recruiters.
Expert tip

A matching pair

Recruiters in a volunteer-dependent organization may sometimes be stretched to their multi-tasking limit, and perhaps frazzled when poring over job applications. A visually matched resume and cover letter pair can be a sight for sore eyes. 

The small bit of extra effort it takes to make these documents look like they belong together could ensure both get more than a passing glance.

Goal of the cover letter header: Set yourself apart from possibly hundreds of other volunteer job applicants with a visually distinctive identifier and contact information.

Cover letter greeting

Volunteer job applicants may have an advantage when it comes to knowing who their cover letter greeting should address. They’ve likely shown initiative in exploring opportunities of interest and determined the requirements to apply, including recruiter contact information. Or, they may already have firsthand knowledge and connections without having to do research.

In any case, do address your cover letter to someone by name if possible. The positive psychological impact is well established. Otherwise, there’s no need to overthink the salutation: “Dear <Mr.> or <Ms.> Surname” is never outdated. Sometimes, the less formal “Hello,” “Greetings” or “Hi” is fine instead of “Dear.” Only use a first name greeting if you know the recipient personally. 

If you are unable to find out the recipient’s name, fashion a warmer alternative to “To Whom It May Concern.” Try “Dear <Organization Name> Volunteer Hiring Team” or something similar.

Goal of the cover letter greeting: Start off by directly addressing the person responsible for recruiting volunteers in a warm but professional manner.

Adaptable cover letter greeting example

Dear Mr. Sonnenheim,

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Cover letter introduction

Your volunteer cover letter introduction is pivotal to forming a connection with the reader. It’s where your passion, personality and purpose start shining through.  

Volunteer recruiters will naturally expect you to start highlighting your most relevant strengths and background experience right away. And you absolutely should — especially emphasizing your people skills up front. But the biggest wow factor comes from revealing your “why.”

Why do you care about this organization or charitable cause? What’s driving your desire to give? If there’s a personal, close-to-home reason, share that. This motivational insight should answer the recruiter’s foremost “how” question: How will your volunteer efforts help us if we give you this opportunity?

Goal of the cover letter introduction: Appeal to the specific needs of the organization or cause by conveying how your volunteering efforts will be of benefit.

Here’s an introduction idea from our volunteer letter sample:

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

I am writing as an aspiring soccer coach to see whether there is an opportunity to volunteer at Boston Cubs? I had played soccer since I was 13, but had to curtail my playing career last year due to injury and would love to give back to the game during my sports science degree.

Copied!

Cover letter body

Again, the same advice for writing the middle section (known as the body) of any job search cover letter applies when you are seeking a volunteer role. Focus on what the volunteer job requirements are and why your background is a good fit. 

Whether your previous experience has been professional or in other volunteer capacities is less important than its relevance to this particular volunteer job. Elaborate on achievements and the transferable skills brought to bear — especially soft skills. Cite relatable facts and figures such as target-beating fundraising totals or special event attendance. And by all means, share an anecdote or two that the reader can relate to on a personal level.

Goal of the cover letter body: Instill confidence in your sense of dedication and desire to contribute as a volunteer, based on relevant background experience.

This volunteer cover letter sample illustrates what you might include in the middle part:

Adaptable cover letter body example

I have no formal coaching experience; but would be keen to take on my first coaching qualifications alongside the volunteer work. A friend of mine helped out last year and he said that you are open to such arrangements. I have worked with the 11-16 age group previously at summer camps and I enjoy helping kids make the most of their potential and love watching them challenge themselves.

I have a solid understanding of the tactics of soccer, but realize that much of the initial work will be organizational and logistical. I am a qualified minivan driver and was a treasurer for my college theater group, so hopefully I have other skills that may come in useful for the club. Due to my previous work with schoolchildren, I have all recent background checks and can share 35+ positive references from parents and participants.

I live ten minutes walk away from your training ground and have watched the kids play every now and again on my weekend strolls. They all seem to have so much fun and I would love to be a part of that journey for them.

Copied!

How to close a volunteer cover letter (conclusion & sign-off)

Like any cover letter, yours should end with a note of thanks for the recruiter’s interest and a concluding remark about your potential assets as a hired volunteer. Sound optimistic with the hope of hearing back soon; perhaps take that call to action a step further by asking if an interview can be arranged. 

In addition, be sure to stipulate when you are available to volunteer and how much time you can commit. Specify the best way to reach you by repeating the phone number or email address shown in the header.

Finally, simply sign off with “Sincerely,” Best regards,” or “Best,” above your name. 

Aim of the cover letter closing: End with an upbeat call to action, ideally resulting in an interview, along with information about your volunteer availability.

Below is the closing section of our volunteer letter example.

Adaptable cover letter closing example

I would relish the opportunity to come along and discuss what else I might be able to contribute to the Cubs.

Sincerely,
Bridgette Cole

Copied!

Writing psychology

Reversing the roles is actually a useful way to look at the persuasive goal of any cover letter, whether you are applying for a paid position or a volunteer job. Put yourself behind the recruiter’s desk. Imagine routinely receiving dozens of submissions every week from volunteer hopefuls, compared with a salaried job vacancy generating a finite number of applications within a closed timeframe. 

Consider the added burden of proof that a volunteer cover letter carries when it comes to motivations compelling enough for the reader to pay serious attention. And never assume that qualified willing volunteers are in such short supply that organizations, out of desperation, will take anyone who steps forward. 

It goes without saying that most volunteer applications are “voluntary,” so recruiters are curious about the underlying reasons — typically to gain work experience, develop skills or give back to the community. Besides wanting to know your volunteer goals and whether the position is a good mutual fit, the cover letter reader needs a good sense of your potential value to the team and how long your commitment will last.

Expert tip

If your volunteer job application is not actually “voluntary” — that is, it’s a requirement for school, work or some other purpose — consider ways to reframe this information in your cover letter without being deceptive. Try to avoid casting doubt about whether your interest in the opportunity and desire to help are genuine. 

Common cover letter mistakes to avoid

Avoiding the most common cover letter pitfalls will ensure your volunteer appeal hits the mark. 

  • A generic cover letter is like pretending you can clone yourself for multiple volunteer stints simultaneously.
  • A “what’s in it for me” focus will turn off recruiters interested in how your volunteer contributions will help their organization or cause.
  • Meaningless clichés and redundant word bloat waste valuable page space and the reader’s precious time.
  • Without insights to your personality, passion and purpose, recruiters have no sense of what drives your giving intentions or how well you get along with others.
  • Typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical goofs are a warning that your involvement might cause more work for others — fellow volunteers and paid staff alike.
  • Design and formatting flaws can be perceived as a disregard for the organization’s identity, image and values, but a cover letter template can help you avoid these mistakes.

Key takeaways for a volunteer cover letter

  1. Despite the absence of financial compensation for volunteer work, the job application approach is remarkably similar, including the importance of an outstanding cover letter.
  2. Infinitely available volunteer opportunities allow for mutually ideal matches to be made, so each volunteer cover letter calls for a customized approach.
  3. Cover letters are designed to reflect your personality and purpose to a greater extent than resumes allow, which volunteer recruiters are keenly interested in.
  4. A visually attractive and error-proof cover letter speaks to your professionalism, work ethic and attention to detail. See how this is done in our volunteer cover letter sample.

For more inspiration, check out our other related resume examples:

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