How to build a great community volunteer cover letter
Community volunteers serve essential roles in their communities, from helping with community watch and security programs to volunteering at public gardens or other shared spaces. To earn a community volunteering role, it is important to write a cover letter that highlights both your qualifications and your personal drive for volunteering.
In this guide, we cover 5 key steps for writing a great community volunteer cover letter. Continue reading to learn how to:
- How to give your community volunteer cover letter visual appeal
- Why it is essential to personalize the content of your cover letter
- Which key details to include in your community volunteer introduction
- How you can showcase your qualifications as a community volunteer
- What to say in your cover letter conclusion to make it effective
1. How to give your community volunteer cover letter visual appeal
When applying to a position as a community volunteer, providing a volunteer organizer with a well-written, compelling cover letter is essential.
To start off your cover letter strong, you must give it visual appeal by creating a cover letter hader and cover letter headline.
Your header will always come first, placed in the top left corner of your letter. In a header, you should include all the vital information about who you are and who the intended recipient of the letter is.
This information includes:
- Your name and professional title
- Your professional contact information (email address, phone number, LinkedIn, etc.)
- The name of the organization you are applying to
Here is an example of a well-formatted community volunteer header
Jacob Jackson, Community Volunteer
(123) 456-7890 | firstname.lastname@example.org | linkedin.com/in/jacob-jackson
To: McDowell Community Center
1234 Street Address
Newark, NJ 07101
A few spaces below your header is where you should place your cover letter headline. The headline looks best centered on the page and should include four key elements:
- A keyword: The keyword should be related to the position — typically, the best keyword to use is the position title itself.
- A number or trigger word: A number or trigger word helps to outline how many key points there are in the cover letter, informing the reader of what they can expect from the letter.
- An adjective and/or verb: To give your headline a more intriguing sound and structure, you should include a powerful adjective or verb that describes you and your qualifications.
- A promise statement: It is important to let the reader know that this letter is written specifically for them — to accomplish this, include a personalized promise statement that directly references the person and/or their business.
Here is an example of an excellent headline from a community volunteer cover letter
3 Reasons Why I Love Community Volunteering & How This Passion Can Benefit Your Organization
Trigger Word/Number: 3 Reasons
Keyword: Community Volunteering
Adjective/Verb: Love, Benefit
Promise: Your Organization
2. How to personalize the content of your cover letter
Your next key step in the cover letter writing process is to personalize the letter for a specific volunteer organizer or organization. Personalization is important, as it helps you make your letter much more relevant and valuable to the person reading it.
The personalization process is done by first researching the organization before writing and then using the information you gather within the letter. For instance, if the organization is currently working on a major community project, you could reference this project and explain how your skills can help them accomplish it.
Additionally, you should try to discover who is responsible for onboarding new volunteers, such as a head volunteer organizer. With this detail, you can create a personalized greeting that addresses this person by name, letting them know immediately about the research you have completed.
Here are 3 examples of personalized community volunteer cover letter greetings
- Dear Head Volunteer Rachel Harris,
- Dear Volunteer Organizer Rachel Harris,
- Dear Ms. Rachel Harris,
3. How to write a compelling community volunteer cover letter introduction
As a community volunteer, your first primary goal with your cover letter should be to showcase your passion for service and volunteering — and there’s no better place to do this than in your introduction.
A cover letter introduction should include:
- A concise summary of your experience as a volunteer, including any specialized areas of expertise
- A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this organization
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible) — including a mutual acquaintance can help build rapport with the volunteer organizer, as well as provide them with a professional reference that they trust. To gain a mutual acquaintance, try networking through professional platforms like LinkedIn.
Here is an example of a strong introduction from a community volunteer cover letter
Dear Head Volunteer Rachel Harris,
As a community volunteer with more than 4 years of experience working in community youth centers, I was beyond thrilled to learn of your center’s volunteering opportunities. I am passionate about working with underprivileged youth in my community to help provide them with the resources and support needed to excel at both school and home. My mentor Ms. Lisa May, a local social worker that often works with your center, let me know about this opportunity and encouraged me to apply.
4. How to showcase your qualifications as a community volunteer
A great community volunteer can possess many different skills and qualifications — the key is to determine which are most relevant to the position at hand.
No matter which skills, accomplishments, or other qualifications you choose to include, make sure to relate them back to the position as much as possible. For instance, if you are applying for a position as a community volunteer in a local garden, describe your teamwork skills and how they can benefit the community garden team.
Here are 6 skills to describe in a community volunteer cover letter
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Communicating with community members
- Administrative tasks
- Leadership (describe a specific leadership style)
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a cover letter
As a community volunteer for a local homeless shelter, I helped with community outreach to gather donations for the shelter food bank. In this role, I helped to develop a new outreach incentive program that increased donations by more than 15% per month.
5. How to conclude your community volunteer cover letter effectively
The final step to writing your community volunteer cover letter is to write an effective conclusion. In this conclusion, make sure to include:
- An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
- How and when you can best be contacted
- When you plan to follow up
- A formal sign-off
Here is an example of a great conclusion from a community volunteer cover letter
As the newest volunteer at your organization, I know I can help uplift and support the local community with compassion and commitment. I greatly look forward to hearing from you and hope to hear back by next Tuesday regarding this volunteer opportunity. Please reach me any time Monday through Friday before 5 p.m., or between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.