The stress of writing an application letter, whether for a paid, volunteer, or internship position, can seem like an intimidating process. While a well-written letter can help you put your best foot forward, a weak, confusing, or poorly developed letter may cost you a great opportunity.If you are pursuing a volunteer position as a requirement for school, work, or another program, you may struggle to communicate passion for or dedication to the role. On the other hand, applying for a volunteer opportunity you feel strongly about comes with its own risks. You may fall into the trap of focusing too much on your own passion and not enough on the needs of the company or organization.For help creating a letter that positions you as both a passionate and qualified candidate, study our application letter for volunteering templates.
ǀApplication Letter for Volunteering Templateǀ
Sarah Wilkinson is writing this letter to the volunteer coordinator of Brook’s House, a nonprofit organization that creates jobs for adults with intellectual disabilities. She is writing this letter because she hopes to serve as a marketing volunteer. Although she feels passionately about the mission and purpose of the organization, she strikes a healthy balance between sharing that passion and focusing on her relevant skills for a moving letter that packs a punch.
I am thrilled to submit my resume for the Brooke’s House volunteer marketing position advertised in the community newsletter. As a mom of an adult son with Down Syndrome who has personally benefited from this organization and a professional with more than 12 years of marketing experience, I believe I am uniquely equipped to spread awareness about and further the mission of Brooke’s House.
When my son, Brian, graduated high school, we weren’t sure where his life would lead. Brooke’s House provided an opportunity for him to develop meaningful skills, learn a trade, and feel an incredible sense of belonging. Because I have firsthand experience with the life-changing benefits of this program, I am passionate about using my extensive experience as the Director of Marketing for a large firm to expand the reach, fundraising, awareness, and possibilities of Brooke’s House. I hope to bring my expertise in web development, social media campaigns, donor communication, and public relations to the Brooke’s House team.
Enclosed you will find my resume and background check. I look forward to meeting you in person to discuss the needs and specific plans of the organization more in depth. If you require any additional information, please let me know.
Thank you for your time.
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. A powerful application letter can help you stand out from other applicants and secure a position that helps you fulfill your purpose.
As you prepare to write your letter, it’s critical that you first conduct some basic research. If possible, find the name of the volunteer coordinator, director, or other leader who is likely to receive your application. Ensure that you make a strong first impression by addressing the letter to him or her by name. Next, briefly state the position of interest. Finish the first paragraph with a statement or two about your basic qualifications.
The second paragraph should be the heart of your letter. As shown in our application letter for volunteering template, you can maximize the impact of this section by focusing on specific qualities that will help you meet the needs of the organization. Pull a few key experiences or abilities listed in your resume to expound on. You may also take this opportunity to share why you have an interest in the organization or opportunity, making it clear that you are familiar and on board with the mission, vision, and purpose of the organization.
Finally, end the letter with an indication of your interest in interviewing for the position. Feel free to touch on your passion for the cause or position again, but try to keep it succinct. Proper etiquette also requires that you thank the reader for his or her time.
ǀWhat to Avoid in Your Application Letter for Volunteeringǀ
One of the biggest mistakes that can weaken the impact of your letter is to fail to do the appropriate research. If you are unfamiliar with the organization or company you hope to volunteer for, your letter will suffer. Form letters with generic statements can instantly deter the reader from even considering your resume, no matter how qualified you really are.
It is also important that you don’t focus solely on your interest in or passion for the position you hope to fulfill. Although it is great for you to feel strongly about a cause or the work of an organization, that passion may not be enough to secure the position. You should also demonstrate your ability to back that passion up with action and excel in the position.
Neglecting to proofread your letter can also cause you to miss out on a great opportunity. Simple typos or grammatical errors may convey a lack of attention to detail or laziness. Make sure you reread your letter before submitting it. You may also consider asking a friend or associate to look it over for you.
ǀHow to Follow Up After Sending Your Application Letter for Volunteeringǀ
In many cases, following up after submitting your application letter and resume can help frame you as a responsible and dedicated candidate. It is typically best to wait at least two weeks before contacting the recipient, however. This allows for ample time to have reviewed your application package. When you do reach out, choose e-mail first. E-mail allows the recipient to check on your application status, follow up with the appropriate coworkers, and form a thoughtful response. It also provides a trail of correspondence for future reference. If your e-mail isn’t addressed within five business days, you may consider making a follow-up phone call.
ǀTop 5 Application Letter for Volunteering Writing Takeawaysǀ
1. Share your “why”
Although you don’t want to devote your entire letter to the reason you feel drawn to a particular cause or organization, it is important to express why you would like to volunteer.
2. Detail your skills
Your “why” may explain the reason you are applying for the position, but your experience, abilities, and achievements prove how you will fulfill it. Use this opportunity to draw attention to the most impressive and relevant parts of your resume.
3. Maintain a professional tone
Professionalism is a crucial component of an effective application letter, even for a volunteer. No matter what role you play in an organization or company, you still reflect on them. Adhering to proper etiquette and using a professional voice will demonstrate that you can fit into an office environment and will represent the organization well.
4. Don’t make it all about you
Those in charge of reviewing applications don’t often have a lot of time to devote to each one. They typically want to know one thing: what you can do for the company. To make the most of your letter, discuss every aspect of your experience and qualifications in light of how they may benefit the company.
5. Finish strong
Keep in mind that the point of your application letter is to move forward in the process. Clearly communicating your desire for an interview or in-person meeting demonstrates how important the opportunity is to you.