You can do an amazing amount of good work if you are employed by a non-profit organization. However, it’s a challenging field. Having a strong desire to help others and do meaningful work is important. But you’ll have to also demonstrate that you possess relevant hard and soft skills to get a job at a non-profit.
To move forward as an applicant, you must grab the attention of the hiring manager. That means you need to have a convincing and memorable cover letter. This guide will show you how to craft one, as well as provide a non-profit cover letter sample. Let’s dive in!
Grab The HR’s Attention With a Story
Did you know that one of the most famous ninjas was actually a woman? She was a master of disguise, and fluent in many languages. She used her skills to get close to some of the most infamous leaders and politicians of her time. Like most other ninjas, she never wore the black linen costumes that you see in so many movies.
That story has nothing to do with working for a non-profit. But, you will probably remember those facts about ninjas for quite some time. That’s because storytelling grabs the reader’s attention, makes things relatable, and improves memory and recall.
You can use storytelling in your cover letter to share your experience with and passion for working in nonprofits. Your cover letter will stick in the memory of the hiring manager much more positively than it would if you simply shared dry statistics and relevant keywords alone.
Show The Decision-Makers What They Want to See
Before you compose your cover letter, read the job listing carefully. Then, use that information to describe your experience and qualifications. Consider putting all your personal details in the form of a bulleted list so that your most relevant qualifications really stand out. For example, if the job listing states they are looking for applicants with more than 5 years experience in a leadership position at a youth-oriented nonprofit, share that number in your letter.
Career Consultant, CPCC, CPRW
Not for profit organizations need persistent people. Successful workers are those who can motivate donors to fund programs, who can find services for people in need, and who can keep their team members motivated. Show that level of persistence in your cover letter. Close your letter out with a commitment to follow up within a certain time. Then, make good on your promise, and follow up. Just be sure to respect any directives such as ‘no phone calls’.
Do Your Research
The more you know about the organization, the better you can customize your cover letter. That starts with your greeting. Salutations like ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ or ‘Hiring Manager’ show that you couldn’t be bothered to get the name of a real person. Don’t do that. Instead, use LinkedIn, the company’s website or other social media pages to find the name of the hiring manager. You can also do further research to find out more about the organization’s campaigns, future goals, and struggles. Then, you can use your cover letter to show what you can do to meet that organization’s needs.
Show Your Strength
Don’t simply claim to have qualifications. Use examples. For example, if a non-profit needs someone with fundraising experience, detail which organizations you worked with, and how you were able to execute successful fundraising campaigns. If you are a former social worker or federal agency employee talk about the type of public you’ve served and the agenda you have pursued.
Cover Letter Example for a Non-Profit Role – .docx Format
Download example (Word version)
Non Profit Cover Letter Example – Text Format
Dear Ms. Jerries,
I am very excited to submit my application for the position of volunteer team lead. Recently, I have separated from the Peace Corps after a four year period of service. During the last two years of my service, I held the position of Development Team Lead. I believe my experience in that capacity makes me a perfect fit for this position.
I joined the Peace Corps in 2015 after graduating from the University of North Texas with degrees in Journalism and Ecology. I entered the Peace Corps to use my skills and education to help create and work environmental programs in emerging nations. In 2017, I was asked to take a position as a team leader. In that position, I led a team of 25 volunteers on projects that included ecological restoration, stormwater management, wildlife monitoring, and national resources education. I believe that I can successfully lead volunteers on your upcoming environmental projects as well.
I am very grateful for my time in the Peace Corps as I believe it allowed me to develop leadership skills. I am able to train, motivate, and properly supervise volunteers with a wide array of backgrounds and skill sets. Further, I am familiar with several project management and collaboration apps.
I would love the opportunity to meet with you and will follow up in two weeks with an email. In the meantime, I’ve attached my resume for your review.
Follow the tips above to write a great cover letter to accompany your application for a job at a nonprofit organization. Now, one last tip. Don’t forget to edit and proofread your cover letter before you send it. You’ll demonstrate your care and attention to detail when you send a letter that’s free of any embarrassing errors.