Volunteerism is a good thing as it gives you the opportunity to show your character in a positive light. But when you want to do volunteer work, you should first demonstrate how an organization or company will benefit from the skills you have to offer. To do this, you should compose a well-written volunteers letter where you describe your specific interests and skills.
What to include?
There are a variety of reasons why you would pursue opportunities to volunteer. For instance, you might want to widen your personal network, gain professional experience or want to give back to your community.
Before you can pursue these opportunities, you should first know how to compose a professional volunteers letter. Typically, this letter includes:
- Your name
- Your address
- A formal greeting
- A short introduction
- The body of the letter
- A conclusion
- Your sign-off
Volunteer Letters Of Recommendation
How do I write a volunteer letter?
Doing volunteer work means giving some of your services and time to an organization or person without expecting any monetary reward in return. Before you can become a volunteer, you must first decide which organization you will volunteer with.
Once you have made the decision, you should write avolunteers letter asking the organization to become a volunteer. In the letter, you explain your reasons for wanting to volunteer. You can even ask others to compose volunteer letters of recommendation for you.
But if you decide to write the letter yourself, you should know how to go about it. Here are some steps to guide you:
- Format the letter
To make sure that your letter looks as professional as possible, you have to follow proper formatting protocols. Include your contact details at the upper left-hand corner. This includes your complete name, address, email address, and phone number.
Next, write the recipient’s contact details. Start with their complete name or a formal title if you don’t know their first name, the department that the person works in, the organization’s name, and its business address. You may also include the date so that the person who will review your letter sees when you sent it.
- Start your letter
In the salutation, you will address the recipient of the letter with their official title. In case there is no contact person stated in the volunteer announcement and you don’t know who to address the letter to, you may use a subject line rather than a formal salutation. Keep this in mind too if you plan to ask someone to compose a volunteer reference letter for you.
- The 1st paragraph
This is where you market yourself to the organization’s administration. Introduce yourself before making your intentions known from the beginning. It would be a great idea to reference the mission values or statements of the organization then address why such a set of values or mission matters to you too.
Try to connect your education, interests, and experiences to these mission statements or values. You can also convey the message that you’re willing to work toward the goals of the organization.
- The 2nd paragraph
After introducing yourself and declaring your reasons for wanting to volunteer, it’s time to let them know a little bit more about you. Discuss your present volunteer and employment history then explain the relevance of your experiences to the position.
In some cases, your past jobs may not have a bearing on the position you’re applying for. If so, you can mention your employment history as a way to emphasize your strengths.
You may also want to focus on how dedicated you are to your current or past employers, your work ethic, and any transferrable skills that you can use for the volunteer work.
- The 3rd paragraph
In the first 2 paragraphs, you will introduce yourself as a volunteer applicant, discuss your interest, and demonstrate why you are a qualified candidate. This last paragraph gives you the chance to present what you can commit to.
Let them know how much time you can afford each week as a volunteer along with the specific times or days that work best for your schedule. Moreover, let them know when you can start working as a volunteer if you’re accepted into the program.
- Your closing
Here, you will show your formal appreciation to the hiring committee for having to spend their consideration and time on your application. Always use business-appropriate, formal language even with your professional sign-off.
- Sign your letter
Provide both a handwritten and typed signature. If you intend to send this letter via email, you should still print a copy of your letter first, affix your signature to it, and scan the letter with your signature. You can attach the scanned copy to your email.
Volunteer Reference Letters
Tips to improve your volunteer letter
Here are additional pointers to consider for how to compose a professional volunteers letter:
- Research before you apply
Doing this gives you vital information like who to address the community service recommendation letter to, what are the available opportunities, what requirements you need, and so on. Knowing all this information helps you be very specific in your letter.
- Set goals
When writing this letter, think about the reasons why you plan to volunteer at an organization. It will help the recipient of the letter to determine if the position will suit you if you include your goals in your letter.
- Maintain professionalism
You must write this letter in the same style as when you apply for a paid position at a company. Always maintain consistency and a tone of professionalism in your letter. Remember that a poorly-crafted letter might cost you the volunteer position you’re aiming for.
- Use a font and type size that’s appropriate for a standard business letter
Always select a font style that’s easy to read and has clear lines. Avoid using fancy, unique or unusual colors in your letter. Also, it’s recommended to use black color for your whole letter.
- Keep your letter short
Also, remember that the recipient will probably deal with dozens of volunteer applicants each week and as such, they wouldn’t want to spend too much time on long letters. To make their job easier, try limiting your letter to just one page. Also, keep the paragraphs simple, short, and easy to read.