How To Write a Nonprofit Cover Letter (With Template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working at a nonprofit can be an exciting, rewarding experience. Writing a strong cover letter is one of the most important parts of your nonprofit job application because it's your first opportunity to introduce yourself to the recruiter. When applying for a nonprofit or charity job, learning how to write an effective cover letter could increase your chances of earning an interview. In this article, we share steps for writing a charity job cover letter and provide a template and example to help you create a professional nonprofit cover letter.

Related: What Is a Cover Letter Template?

What is a nonprofit cover letter?

A nonprofit cover letter is a document you can use when applying for a nonprofit role to show your qualifications, experience and skills. You can send this document with your CV to provide more details about your qualifications and why you're interested in the role.

Nonprofit organisations, sometimes referred to as not-for-profits, are organisations that do not earn profits for their owners. Instead, revenue is used to support specific social causes. These organisations focus strongly on their mission and often look for candidates who share a similar passion for social causes. Demonstrating your skills and relevant work experience is equally important as conveying your personal motivations for supporting their cause. In a cover letter, you can highlight the skills and experience you have and the values you share with an organisation. This can help you show the hiring manager your passion for the cause.

How to write a cover letter for nonprofit organisations

Consider following these simple steps to craft an effective cover letter for nonprofit positions:

1. Address your cover letter to a specific person

Addressing your cover letter to a specific person is more personal and shows you've taken the time to research the organisation. You may find the hiring manager or recruiter mentioned within the job listing for some roles, but you may need to do some research to find the correct person to address for others. Reviewing the organisation's website or social media can help you find the relevant person to address. Address your cover letter to the hiring manager if you cannot find a name.

Related: How To Address a Cover Letter (With Examples)

2 . Tell the recruiter which role interests you

In your first sentence, explain the role that you're applying for and how you found out about the position. Recruiters may hire for multiple vacancies at any given time, so being clear about the role you're applying for is important.

If you found the role through a referral, you may wish to follow your opening sentence with a brief paragraph explaining how you know the person making the referral and any relevant experience you've had working with them. For example, if they worked with you previously, you might mention their title or how long you've known them.

3. Show you've researched the organisation

Every nonprofit or charity has its own mission and specific causes they support. Within the first paragraph of your cover letter, demonstrate your familiarity with the work they do and show you understand the causes they support. You can find this information by researching current or past projects and reviewing their reports. If you can pick out a particular campaign or aspect of the organisation that you're impressed by, mention it to show recruiters you share the company's interests and values.

4. Express your interest in a particular project

Following on from your research of the organisation, try to find a specific project or aspect of the role that excites you. The job description may already provide some information about the projects you would contribute to. You can use this as a starting point to conduct further research into the responsibilities of the role. If you're passionate about a particular niche cause that falls within the scope of the organisation, mention what this is, why you're interested in it and how this could relate to the job role.

5. Prove you're a great fit for the position

Your second paragraph moves on to explain why you're a great fit for the role. Recruiters may look for tangible examples of your skills and experience, so be sure to provide specific details of your skills and how they have contributed to success in past positions. A great way to customise this section to the job role specifically is to review the job description and pick out a few key skills that the recruiters are looking for, then focus on these skills when sharing examples of your experience.

Be specific in your examples and if you can provide metrics to support your examples then feel free to do so. For example, following a process change I suggested in the contact team, the department reduced the call abandonment rate from 9% to 5% in just two weeks. Mentioning experience you've had working in the same field that the organisation advocates for is equally important as providing specific, skill-focused examples.

6. Express your passion for the work the organisation does

The third paragraph of your cover letter provides more details about your motivation for joining the organisation. Be authentic and explain why the causes the company advocates for matter to you. Tell the organisation what you love about its mission and the values you share. Nonprofits and charities often look for skilled and experienced candidates who also care and are invested in the nonprofit's cause. End this paragraph by explaining what you would bring to the team in terms of personal qualities, building on the skills and experience discussed in the previous paragraph.

7 . Close with a call to action

Finish your cover letter with a sentence or two thanking the recruiter for considering your application and advise of any follow-up steps you intend to take. For example, Thank you for taking the time to consider my application, please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss my experience further. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Related: How To End a Letter

8. Check and format your cover letter

Once you've written the main body of your cover letter, read it through carefully to correct any spelling or grammar errors. You might even ask a friend to review your cover letter and provide feedback. Then, tidy up the structure of your cover letter. A typical cover letter structure includes an introductory sentence followed by three main paragraphs and a closing sentence. Keep your cover letter concise, between half a page to one full page of A4.

Read more: How To Structure a Cover Letter (With Example)

Cover letter template for nonprofit role

This nonprofit cover letter template can be easily adapted for a nonprofit or charity job application. Simply input the details of the role you're applying for, your relevant skills and experience.

[Your name]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Include your address if applying by post, but you can omit this if you're sending your cover letter via email]

[Date]

[Recruiter's name, or ‘Hiring Manager' if a specific name is unknown]
[Company name]
[Company address]

Dear Mr./Ms. [Hiring manager's last name],

I'm writing to express my interest in the [job title] role that I found advertised on [where you found the position, or mention if a current employee has referred you].

[Brief paragraph describing your enthusiasm for the organisation and the work they do.]

[A paragraph describing your experience and specific accomplishments that make you a great fit for the role].

[A paragraph sharing your personal connections to the cause or your overall passion for the mission].

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss my experience further. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Kindest regards,

[Your signature]

Nonprofit role cover letter example

Here is an example you can reference when making your own cover letter:

Kaden Williams
11111-22222
Kaden.williams@email.com

July 30, 2021

Miranda Montane
Better Way Dog Rescue
123 Main Street, London

Dear Ms. Montane,

I'm writing to express my interest in the communications manager role at Better Way Dog Rescue. My previous manager, David Michaelson, suggested that I apply because he is familiar with my proven record of successful social media management, as well as my deeply personal connection with your mission to help animals.

I have followed Better Way Dog Rescue online for over four years, and I love the work you're doing in our community. I am particularly interested in your charity walks and how you use your connection to the local community to find homes for the dogs.

I have over six years of experience in communications, and I studied communications and marketing at university. In my current role, I redesign clients' websites, and on average, I help them approve their reach by over 46%. I would love to do this for your company.

Several of my family members and friends have found their dogs through Better Way Dog Rescue. They've spoken with great admiration about your values and compassion. I would love an opportunity to be a part of your team and help people find their new companions.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss my experience further. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Kindest regards,

Kaden Williams

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