How to Write a Volunteer Cover Letter (With Example)

Learn to write an effective volunteer cover letter with our step-by-step guide, complete with a practical example to help you convey your passion and qualifications clearly and concisely.

Volunteer work is a great way to help others and gain new skills. When you want to volunteer, you often need to write a cover letter. This letter is like a short message that tells the organization why you want to help and what you can do.

A good volunteer cover letter can make a big difference. It shows that you're serious about helping and that you have skills to offer. Many people forget this step, but it can really help you stand out.

Writing a cover letter for a volunteer position is a bit different from writing one for a paid job. You need to focus on why you want to volunteer and how your skills can help the organization. It's also a chance to show your passion for the cause.

In this article, we'll explain how to write a strong volunteer cover letter. We'll talk about what to include, how to make it sound good, and what mistakes to avoid. We'll also give you an example to help you get started. By the end, you'll know how to write a cover letter that will impress volunteer coordinators and increase your chances of getting the position you want.

Volunteer Cover Letter Example

Krin Hoffman
(509) 929-9953
Wilma Snyder
Hiring Manager
Habitat for Humanity

Dear Wilma Snyder,

I am writing to express my sincere interest in the Volunteer position at Habitat for Humanity. As someone deeply committed to community service and passionate about making a tangible difference in people's lives, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your organization's impactful mission.

My name is Krin Hoffman, and I have long admired Habitat for Humanity's dedication to providing affordable housing solutions and empowering communities. Your organization's ethos of 'a hand up, not a handout' resonates strongly with my personal values and desire to create lasting change.

While I may not have mentioned specific prior volunteer experience, I bring a strong work ethic, adaptability, and a genuine enthusiasm for learning new skills. I am eager to contribute in various capacities, whether it's on construction sites, in ReStore locations, or assisting with administrative tasks. My ability to work collaboratively, communicate effectively, and approach challenges with a positive attitude makes me a valuable asset to any team.

I am particularly drawn to Habitat for Humanity's focus on sustainable building practices and community development. I am committed to educating myself on these topics and am excited about the prospect of hands-on learning while contributing to such meaningful projects.

Furthermore, I understand the importance of reliability and dedication in volunteer work. You can count on me to be punctual, maintain a consistent schedule, and approach each task with enthusiasm and care. I am also eager to engage with and learn from the diverse group of volunteers and homeowners that Habitat for Humanity brings together.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills, passion, and commitment align with the needs of Habitat for Humanity. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of contributing to your organization's vital work in building homes, communities, and hope.


Krin Hoffman

How to Write & Format a Cover Letter Header

The header of your volunteer cover letter sets the tone and provides essential contact information. It's the first thing the reader sees, so it's crucial to format it correctly and include all necessary details.

Include Your Contact Information

Start with your full name, address, phone number, and email address. Align this information to the left or center of the page, depending on your preferred style.


Skip a line after your contact information and include the current date.

Recipient's Information

Below the date, add the recipient's name, title, organization name, and address. If you don't have a specific contact person, use a general title like "Volunteer Coordinator" or "Hiring Manager."


Begin your letter with a professional greeting. If you know the recipient's name, use "Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name]:" If you don't have a specific name, opt for "Dear Volunteer Coordinator:" or "Dear Hiring Manager:"

Remember, a well-formatted header demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism, setting a positive tone for the rest of your volunteer cover letter.

Krin Hoffman
(509) 929-9953
Wilma Snyder
Hiring Manager
Habitat for Humanity

Greeting Your Potential Employer

After crafting a professional header, the next crucial element of your volunteer cover letter is the greeting. This section sets the tone for your letter and establishes a connection with the reader.

Use a personalized salutation

Whenever possible, address the letter to a specific person. Research the organization or reach out to find the name of the volunteer coordinator or hiring manager. Use "Dear [Name]" for a formal approach.

Default to a professional greeting

If you can't find a specific name, use a general but professional greeting such as "Dear Volunteer Coordinator" or "Dear Hiring Manager."

Avoid overly casual greetings

Steer clear of informal salutations like "Hey there" or "Hi folks." While volunteering often has a friendly atmosphere, it's best to maintain professionalism in your initial communication.

Consider the organization's culture

For more relaxed organizations, you might use "Hello [Name]" or "Greetings [Name]." Always err on the side of formality if you're unsure.

By taking the time to craft an appropriate greeting, you demonstrate attention to detail and respect for the organization, setting a positive tone for the rest of your cover letter.

Introducing Yourself in a Cover Letter

The introduction of your volunteer cover letter sets the tone for your entire application. This crucial section should immediately capture the reader's attention and convey your enthusiasm for the volunteer opportunity. Here's how to craft an effective opening paragraph:

Start with a strong hook

Begin your letter with a compelling statement that demonstrates your passion for the organization's mission or the specific volunteer role. This could be a brief personal anecdote, a relevant statistic, or an expression of your admiration for the organization's work.

Clearly state your purpose

Explicitly mention that you're applying for a volunteer position and specify the role if possible. This helps the reader understand your intent right away.

Highlight your motivation

Briefly explain why you're interested in volunteering for this particular organization. Connect your personal values or experiences to the organization's goals to show genuine enthusiasm.

Mention any referrals

If someone within the organization referred you, mention their name in the introduction. This can help establish an immediate connection with the reader.

Keep it concise

Aim to keep your introduction to 2-3 sentences. Remember, you'll have the opportunity to expand on your qualifications in the body of the letter.

By crafting a strong introduction, you'll set yourself up for success and encourage the reader to continue reviewing your application with interest.

Strong Example

Dear Volunteer Coordinator,

As a passionate advocate for environmental conservation with over 500 hours of community service experience, I am thrilled to apply for the Wildlife Conservation Volunteer position at Greenwood Nature Preserve. My background in ecology and hands-on experience in habitat restoration make me an ideal candidate to contribute meaningfully to your organization's mission of protecting local ecosystems.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong example of a cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it immediately establishes the applicant's relevant passion and experience, quantifying their volunteer work to demonstrate commitment. The introduction also specifically names the position and organization, showing that it's tailored to this particular opportunity. Furthermore, it briefly highlights key qualifications (background in ecology and habitat restoration experience) that directly relate to the role. The language is enthusiastic and confident, conveying genuine interest in the position. Finally, it connects the applicant's skills to the organization's mission, demonstrating an understanding of and alignment with the preserve's goals. This introduction effectively grabs attention, showcases relevant qualifications, and sets a positive tone for the rest of the letter.

Weak Example

Hello, my name is John Smith and I am writing to apply for the volunteer position at your organization. I saw your ad online and thought it might be interesting. I have some free time on my hands and figured volunteering could be a good way to fill it.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak example of a cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it lacks enthusiasm and doesn't demonstrate genuine interest in the organization or the cause. The phrase 'thought it might be interesting' suggests a casual, non-committal attitude. Second, it fails to highlight any specific skills, experiences, or values that make the applicant suitable for the role. Third, the motivation for volunteering is presented as merely filling free time, which doesn't convey a sense of dedication or passion. Lastly, the tone is too informal and doesn't create a professional first impression. A strong cover letter introduction should show enthusiasm, mention specific reasons for wanting to volunteer with the organization, and briefly highlight relevant skills or experiences.

Writing the Body of Your Cover Letter

The body of your volunteer cover letter is where you can showcase your skills, experiences, and passion for the cause you're applying to support. This section allows you to expand on your qualifications and demonstrate why you're an ideal candidate for the volunteer position.

Highlight Relevant Skills and Experiences

Begin by discussing any relevant skills or experiences that align with the volunteer role. These could include previous volunteer work, professional experiences, or personal projects that demonstrate your capabilities. Focus on skills that directly relate to the position's requirements.

Show Your Passion for the Cause

Explain why you're interested in volunteering for this particular organization or cause. Share personal anecdotes or experiences that have motivated you to get involved. This helps the organization understand your commitment and enthusiasm.

Demonstrate Your Understanding

Research the organization and its mission. Use this knowledge to explain how your values align with theirs and how you can contribute to their goals. This shows initiative and genuine interest in the role.

Mention Availability and Commitment

Clearly state your availability and level of commitment. Whether you're able to volunteer on weekends, evenings, or for specific events, being upfront about your schedule helps the organization determine if you're a good fit.

Conclude with a Call to Action

End the body of your letter by expressing your eagerness to discuss the opportunity further. Invite the reader to contact you for additional information or to schedule an interview.

Strong Example

As a passionate advocate for environmental conservation, I am excited to apply for the Volunteer Position at Green Earth Foundation. With over 500 hours of volunteer experience in various environmental projects, including reforestation initiatives and community clean-up events, I believe I can make a significant contribution to your organization's mission.

During my time volunteering with the Local Wildlife Preservation Society, I developed strong organizational skills by coordinating groups of up to 30 volunteers for habitat restoration projects. I also honed my communication abilities through conducting educational workshops on sustainable living practices for community members.

My academic background in Environmental Science, coupled with my hands-on experience, has given me a comprehensive understanding of ecological issues and sustainable solutions. I am particularly impressed by Green Earth Foundation's recent urban gardening project and would be thrilled to assist in expanding this initiative.

I am available to commit 20 hours per week and am eager to apply my skills and passion to support Green Earth Foundation's important work. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to your team and further your mission of creating a sustainable future for our planet.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong example of a Cover Letter Body for a Volunteer position because it effectively showcases the applicant's relevant experience, skills, and passion for the cause. The content is tailored specifically to the organization (Green Earth Foundation) and demonstrates the applicant's knowledge of their work. It highlights quantifiable achievements (500 hours of volunteer experience, coordinating groups of up to 30 volunteers) which provide concrete evidence of the applicant's capabilities. The letter also connects the applicant's academic background to practical experience, showing a well-rounded understanding of the field. Furthermore, it expresses enthusiasm for a specific project of the organization, indicating research and genuine interest. Finally, it clearly states the applicant's availability and reiterates their eagerness to contribute, ending with a call to action for further discussion. This comprehensive and targeted approach makes it a strong example of a volunteer cover letter body.

Weak Example

I am writing to apply for the volunteer position at your organization. I have some free time and thought volunteering would be a good way to fill it. I don't have any specific skills or experience related to your cause, but I'm willing to help out wherever needed. I'm available on weekends and can start immediately if you need someone.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak example for several reasons. Firstly, it lacks enthusiasm and genuine interest in the organization's mission. The applicant's motivation appears to be merely filling free time rather than a passion for the cause. Secondly, it fails to highlight any relevant skills, experiences, or personal qualities that would make the applicant a valuable volunteer. The admission of having no specific skills related to the cause further weakens the application. Additionally, the content is vague and doesn't demonstrate any research into the organization or its needs. A strong cover letter should show commitment, relevant abilities, and a clear understanding of how the applicant can contribute to the organization's goals.

How to Close Your Cover Letter

Concluding your volunteer cover letter effectively is crucial for leaving a lasting impression. The closing section should reinforce your enthusiasm, summarize your key qualifications, and prompt the reader to take action.

Express gratitude

Thank the reader for their time and consideration. This simple gesture demonstrates professionalism and courtesy.

Restate your interest

Briefly reiterate your eagerness to contribute to the organization's mission. This reinforces your commitment and passion for the role.

Include a call to action

Politely request an interview or meeting to discuss the opportunity further. This shows initiative and confidence in your abilities.

Provide contact information

Ensure your contact details are easily accessible. Include your phone number and email address for the reader's convenience.

Use an appropriate closing

End with a professional sign-off such as "Sincerely," "Best regards," or "Yours truly," followed by your full name.

Mention enclosures

If you're including additional documents like a resume or references, note this at the bottom of your letter.

By crafting a strong closing section, you leave the reader with a positive final impression and increase your chances of securing the volunteer position. Remember to proofread carefully to ensure your closing is error-free and aligns with the tone of your entire letter.

Strong Example

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to [Organization Name]'s mission and make a positive impact in our community. I would welcome the chance to discuss how my skills and passion align with your volunteer needs. I look forward to hearing from you soon and potentially joining your dedicated team of volunteers.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong cover letter closing for several reasons. First, it expresses gratitude for the reader's consideration, which is polite and professional. It then reiterates enthusiasm for the position and the organization's mission, demonstrating genuine interest. The closing also mentions making a positive impact, which is often a key motivator for volunteer work. By referencing the alignment of skills and passion with the organization's needs, it reminds the reader of the candidate's qualifications. The closing is proactive, expressing a desire for further discussion, which shows initiative. Finally, it ends on a positive and forward-looking note, expressing hope for joining the team. This closing is concise yet comprehensive, leaving a strong final impression on the reader.

Weak Example

Thanks for reading my letter. I hope you'll pick me for the volunteer position. I really need this opportunity. Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a nice day!

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak example of a cover letter closing for several reasons. First, it lacks professionalism and confidence, using casual language like 'Thanks for reading' and 'I hope you'll pick me.' The statement 'I really need this opportunity' comes across as desperate rather than passionate about volunteering. Additionally, it fails to reiterate the candidate's enthusiasm for the role or organization, doesn't include a call to action, and doesn't express gratitude for the reader's time and consideration. The closing also misses the opportunity to reaffirm the candidate's qualifications or express how they could contribute to the organization. Overall, it fails to leave a strong, lasting impression and doesn't effectively conclude the cover letter in a way that would motivate the reader to take further action.

Cover Letter FAQs for Volunteer


What is the ideal format and length for a volunteer cover letter?


A volunteer cover letter should follow a standard business letter format and be no longer than one page. It typically includes your contact information, the date, the organization's contact information, a salutation, 3-4 paragraphs of content, and a closing. Aim for 250-400 words, focusing on your most relevant skills and experiences.


What key information should I include in my volunteer cover letter?


Your volunteer cover letter should include your motivation for volunteering, relevant skills and experiences, knowledge about the organization, how you can contribute to their mission, and your availability. Be sure to tailor the content to the specific volunteer position and organization you're applying to.


How do I highlight my skills and experiences if I don't have previous volunteer work?


Focus on transferable skills from other areas of your life, such as school projects, part-time jobs, or personal initiatives. Emphasize soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Discuss your passion for the cause and your willingness to learn and contribute in new ways.


Should I address my volunteer cover letter to a specific person?


Yes, whenever possible, address your cover letter to a specific person. Research the organization's website or call them to find out who oversees volunteer coordination. If you can't find a name, use a general salutation like 'Dear Volunteer Coordinator' or 'Dear [Organization Name] Team.'


How can I make my volunteer cover letter stand out?


To make your cover letter stand out, research the organization thoroughly and show genuine enthusiasm for their mission. Use specific examples of how your skills align with their needs. Include a personal story that demonstrates your commitment to the cause. Be concise, use active language, and proofread carefully to ensure a polished, error-free letter.