Volunteering is the act of giving your time and services to another person or organization without expecting monetary incentives in return. Although you will not receive money, volunteering can be a very rewarding and satisfying experience. It's also a great way to gain valuable work experience and make a difference in your community. If you want to write a letter to an organization requesting to volunteer, you should explain your reasons for wanting to volunteer, express interest in a specific position, and name ways you can benefit others with your skills and experiences. Knowing how to write a volunteer letter and what information to include in it could help you land a life-changing position at an organization that interests you.
Part 1 of 3: Find a position
Step 1. Look for opportunities to volunteer
You can usually find them on the company's website, either in the list of paid positions or in a separate section specifically dedicated to volunteering.
- Go through all the positions until you find the one that best suits you.
- Find out the requirements for the position you are interested in. It is important to do this before sending an application letter, as, although it is not a paid position, there may be requirements such as: skills, level of experience or education.
Step 2. Research the company
Once you've found a position that interests you, you should familiarize yourself with the company or organization you want to work with. Although you may be interested in and accredited for a specific position, the organization's values may be significantly different from yours. Before applying for a position, make sure that you will be happy to work in that position and that you will be helpful to the organization.
Find out what the mission and values of the organization are. These could be available somewhere on the organization's website and could save you time and frustration
Step 3. Find out who to contact
If the position you want to apply for was published online or in a newspaper, the advertisement must include the details of a contact person for those interested. It is essential to know who is in charge of hiring or recruiting new staff, as well as their contact information.
- If no contact information is displayed in the ad, try looking it up on the organization's website to determine who is in charge of the staff. It may be necessary to contact your organization's human resources department to obtain this information.
- If a senior executive is the decision maker regarding hiring, you should address your letter to that person.
Part 2 of 3: Write your letter
Step 1. Your letter should sound professional
You should write your letter the same way you would when applying for a paid position. Be professional and consistent in your letter, as poorly written letters could cause you to lose your position.
- Use a typeface and size that are appropriate for a business letter. Choose font sizes between 10 and 12 points, and choose a font that is easy to read and has clear lines, such as those in the sans serif family. Some examples of professional-looking typefaces are: Arial, Century Gothic, Futura, Lucida Sans, News Gothic, Technical, Times New Roman, and Rockwell.
- Do not use any unusual or distinctive colors in your letter. Write the body of your letter in black.
Step 2. Format your letter
Follow the proper formatting protocol to make your letter look as professional as possible.
- Write your contact information in the upper left corner of the document. Include your full name, address, phone number, and email.
- Insert two or three lines after entering that information. Then, write the information of the person you want to contact. Start with their full name (or an appropriate title if you don't know what their first name is; for example: Ms. Stone), the department in which that person works, the name of the organization where you want to work, and the address of the organization.
- If you want, you can include the date in your letter, so that the person who reviews your file can take it into account. You can place it between your contact information and the organization's details.
Step 3. Start writing your letter
The first thing to do (after including your contact information and organization details) is to address the recipient with an appropriate title. If the recipient is a person who has obtained a Ph. D., address them as a Doctor. Otherwise, use "Mr.", "Ms." or "Miss." If the gender of the recipient is unclear, use the person's full name instead of using a title. If a contact person is not listed in the ad and you are unable to figure out who you should address your letter to, using a subject line instead of a formal greeting may be sufficient.
Step 4. Write the first paragraph
This part of the letter is the point where you should advertise to the management of the organization of your choice. Introduce yourself and express your intentions from the beginning.
- Include a few lines to explain your interest in the position.
- Mention where you saw the ad for this volunteer.
- Write a sentence or two describing your expertise and mastery in your field of interest.
- If you had a formal education or have taken a course in the field in which you will be applying, mention it in this section.
- Refer to the mission and values of the organization and explain why these are important to you. Also, tie your education, interests or experience to the mission or values of the company. Let the person who will hire you know that you are and willing and that you are able to work towards the objectives of the organization.
Step 5. Write the second paragraph
Now that you've introduced yourself and formally declared your interest in volunteering your time and efforts, let the other party know a little more about you.
- Make a list of your employment and volunteer history and mention how that experience is relevant to the position. If your previous jobs are not directly related to the volunteer position, then mention your employment history as a way to highlight your specific strengths as an employee. Focus on your work ethic, your dedication to your current or previous job, and any transferable skills that may be relevant to the position for which you aspire.
- Name any skills you have that could be of use or relevance to this position and describe how these skills could be useful to the organization.
- If you have made significant achievements that you are proud of (and that are tied to relevant or transferable skills), detail how these achievements make you an ideal candidate for the position in which you are interested.
- Include any difficulties or problems that you have been able to identify and solve successfully in your current job or in your previous internships.
- Mention any ways you have been successful in innovating new policies or procedures in your current job or in your previous internships.
- Incorporate any examples that illustrate your ability to take initiative and demonstrate responsibility or leadership.
Step 6. Write the third paragraph
The first two paragraphs should be sufficient to introduce you as a candidate for volunteering, to describe why you are interested in the position, and to illustrate why you are a viable candidate for the position. In your closing paragraph, end the letter by stating what you are willing to commit to.
- Let the hiring party know how much time you can offer each week. If you have specific days or hours that fit your schedule, let the other party know about them, in case they accept you into the organization.
- Don't assume that the position is already yours. Writing about yourself and your availability as if you've already been hired can discourage the organization from hiring you.
- Ask the hiring party for the opportunity to meet in person to discuss the position in more detail. Also, let him know when you would be available for an interview. It is important to be flexible when arranging a meeting or interview. For this reason, you should keep your hours open and be willing to meet if you are notified on short notice.
Step 7. Finish your letter in a professional manner
He formally thanks the contracting party for their time and consideration. Use formal, appropriate and commercial language and include a formal dismissal such as "Sincerely," "No other particular," or "Best regards."
Step 8. Sign the letter
It includes a signature written on the computer and one by hand. If you will be emailing the letter, you may need to print a copy of the letter, sign it with a ballpoint pen (use black ink to match the color of the printed letter), and then scan the signed letter and create a PDF file.
Part 3 of 3: Send your letter
Step 1. Review your letter
Make sure to correct any typos, misspelled words, grammatical errors, and punctuation errors. These mistakes can make your letter look messy and unprofessional.
Step 2. Include a resume
Even if you have already mentioned your skills, experiences and studies in the letter, you should also send a copy of your CV. In this way, the contracting party will know your work and study history with specific details, such as the duration of a job or volunteer service. Attaching a CV also shows professionalism on your part. Doing so will show the hiring party that you take this position seriously and that you are willing to earn the opportunity to be a part of the organization.
Step 3. Get two letters of recommendation
Although not all internships require letters of recommendation, some do. Even if they are not required, including letters of recommendation can be another way to show commitment and professionalism.
- Letters of recommendation should be written by a professional or personal reference who can attest to your character and abilities.
- Instead of letters of recommendation, you could include a list of references with their respective contact information. This will allow the hiring party to communicate with your references, if necessary, and demonstrate that you can maintain positive working relationships with former or current employers or colleagues.
Step 4. Send your letter
The organization must specify whether it wants you to send the letter online or as a hard copy that you can mail or hand-deliver. Meets the organization's requirements. If you are mailing your letter, make sure you have used the necessary stamps and that the name and address of the contact person are correct.
Step 5. Follow up on your letter with a call or email
Wait a few days (even up to a week) before you start tracking. Do not insist or pressure. Just write a friendly email or make a call during the organization's service hours to contact the person in charge. Let them know that you have sent an application letter and that you wanted to express your interest in the opportunity to be part of the organization. Above all else, remember to be professional and polite.
Step 6. Write a thank you letter after every interview you have
This is a polite and professional way to let the other party know that you appreciate their time. The thank you letter can be an actual letter or an email. You should send a thank you letter to each interviewer you meet with.
- Address the interviewer by name.
- Thank you for the opportunity to meet and discuss the position.
- Try to mention something specific that the interviewer talked about during your meeting. If you let him know in your thank you letter that you were interested in what he said, you will show him that you were attentive and that you take this opportunity very seriously.
- End your letter with a polite ending that doesn't presume you've gotten the job. Say something like, “I'd like to discuss this opportunity in more detail,” or wish the interviewer luck with the selection process.
- Some organizations get so many volunteer requests that they might ask you not to follow up. Whatever the case, do what they tell you.