A well-written cover letter is essential to landing the non profit job you want. Your cover letter is the best way to showcase your sense of altruism, commitment, and passion for the causes you want to work towards, and convince organizations to hire you.
Keep reading to learn how to present your experience and dedication in a way that grabs hiring managers’ attention.
Nonprofit cover letter example
Here’s a professionally written non profit cover letter example that contains the elements hiring managers look for:
January 31, 2022
114 Lower River St.
New York, NY, 10003
Dear Mr. Cardoso ,
I’ve dedicated my career to improving the lives of our vulnerable homeless population. My most successful project included seeking out and providing temporary housing for over 100 homeless women and children — many of whom are still housed and participating in the local New York City economy today. My natural passion for eradicating homelessness is the reason I believe I’m the best fit for the Director of Engagement position at End Homelessness Now.
After graduating with a Masters in Social Work in 2004, I worked with Human Rights For All as the Outreach Coordinator. During that time, I learned how to engage effectively with the local community and build a coalition of volunteers and donors. The network I created raised over $25,000 in the first year alone which bolstered local shelters during lean times and provided more beds and supplies for them.
Being an Outreach Coordinator is rewarding, but I’m ready for a more impactful position with a leading non profit. I’m eager to get involved with End Homelessness Now’s current projects involving federal grant proposals and building a national coalition of volunteers as I believe this is the direction we must go in to eradicate homelessness in the United States.
While working for Human Rights for All, I gave speeches around New York City to politicians and at non profit conventions. I minored in Communications knowing that we have an obligation to be the voice for the voiceless in both the private and public spheres.
I look forward to hearing from you about this wonderful opportunity. You can reach me by phone at (531) 047-1701 or by email at email@example.com. I’ll reach out in a week if I don’t hear from you, just to make sure you’ve received my application. Thank you for your consideration.
This non profit cover letter is a good example for several reasons. First, the candidate includes an explanation about where their passion for the non profit organization’s mission comes from.
Then, they mention information about their target non profit organization’s objectives (building a volunteer network), as well as their specific accomplishments, such as engaging with the local community.
Follow our example to draw positive attention to your application.
Nonprofit cover letter template
For your convenience, we also provide a nonprofit cover letter template that you can use and tweak to your own needs.
[Hiring Manager’s Name]
2471 Company Address
City, State, Zip Code
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
I’ve dedicated my career to improving [a cause that’s important to you]. My most successful project includes [a project you recently accomplished]. My natural passion for tackling global issues is the reason I believe I’m the best fit for the [position name] position at [organization name].
After graduating with a degree in [area of study], I worked with [previous organization name] as the [previous title]. During that time, I learned how to [something you learned that’s relevant to the position]. The work I did there helped [result of your work], which bolstered our overall efforts and allowed us to make significant progress towards our goals.
While my current role is very rewarding, I’m ready for a more impactful position with a leading non profit. I’m eager to get involved with [organization name]’s current projects involving [recent accomplishment of the organization] as I believe this is the direction we must go in order to accomplish [stated goal of the organization].
I look forward to hearing from you about this wonderful opportunity. You can reach me by phone at [your phone number] or by email at [your email]. I’ll reach out in a week if I don’t hear from you, just to make sure you’ve received my application. Thank you for your consideration.
You can download this non profit cover letter example and template for free, or copy-paste the text version into your own document.
How to write a cover letter for a non profit
Now that you know what a non profit cover letter looks like, how do you go about writing one? Luckily, it’s simple. Check out these five tips:
1. Write a passionate introduction
Passion for the cause is one of the first things employers look for in applicants for a non profit position.
If you’re interested in joining a non profit, you likely have a good reason to be enthusiastic about the work the organization does. Use your cover letter introduction to briefly tell employers the story about how you developed an interest for the cause, or how you’ve dedicated your career to promoting it.
2. Connect your track record with the non profit’s mission
By connecting your skill set and work history with the non profit’s mission, you’ll immediately engage the hiring manager’s interest.
If the mission is to end homelessness, highlight projects you’ve worked on where you’ve gained experience that would help the organization. For example:
The candidate mentions their experience recruiting volunteers and raising funds and points out how this helped keep more people off the streets in their city.
3. Do your research
To show the hiring manager that you’re ready to excel from day one at your new job, you need to prove that you already have substantial knowledge about the organization, its successes, and its upcoming challenges.
Use the following resources (as well as the job description) to research your target non profit so you can learn about their past accomplishments, current projects, and future goals:
- Company website
- News on the non profit and its projects
- Discussion with current employees and connections
Here’s an example of how to show that you understand the organization and its goals in your cover letter:
4. Highlight your accomplishments
Include any relevant education and work history that directly applies to the non profit job you want.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be experience gained at previous non profit jobs, but it should demonstrate transferable skills that will help you be successful in a role at a non profit organization. Be selective by discussing your most relevant accomplishments and provide quantifiable information like revenue increases or total volunteer hours.
Avoid generic statements and try to be specific when describing how or why your accomplishments are important.
I am really good with people.
I listen to the needs of stakeholders and assist them in making the decision that meets their needs.
Use your cover letter to elaborate on bullet points from your resume. In the sample cover letter above, the candidate notes that his team “raised over $25,000.” He then expands on this major accomplishment from his resume to make his application more persuasive.
5. Close with a convincing call-to-action
Knowing how to end your cover letter effectively is one of the best ways to improve your chances of getting a call back. To do this, use a strong call-to-action to close your non profit cover letter.
A call-to-action is a short statement used to push the hiring manager to contact you by:
- showcasing your enthusiasm about the job and attending an interview — tell them directly that you’re looking forward to them contacting you for an interview
- making your contact details the last thing they see when they finish reading your cover letter
Emphasize that you’re available on short notice, and include at least two direct ways to contact you — such as your email address and phone number.