Learn how to write a cover letter with no experience, a first job cover letter, or an entry-level cover letter that makes the best impression. It's easier than you think!
For some, work is just a means to an end.
For others, it is a passion.
For you, it is a calling.
Wanting to help other people is admirable, but on its own insufficient to land a non profit job.
You must show that you can make a bigger impact than anyone else for someone to spend their limited budget on hiring you.
In this guide:
- Two non profit cover letter examples: one for someone with experience in the field, and one for someone with no experience.
- How to profit from a flawless cover letter format.
- An oven-ready-to-use template that you can update with your information inside 15 minutes.
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Have you written your resume yet? Here’s are our non profit relevant resume guides:
Looking for some cover letter examples? See:
- Art Cover Letter
- Cover Letter for Social Work
- Cover Letter with No Experience
- Digital Marketing Cover Letter
- Executive Assistant Cover Letter
- Firefighter Cover Letter
- Internship Cover Letter
- General Cover Letter
- Legal Cover Letter
- Librarian Cover Letter
- Physical Therapy Cover Letter
- Cover Letter for Graduate School Application
Haven't found what you're looking for? Check all our Good Cover Letter Examples.
Let’s learn by example. Here are two non-profit cover letter examples. See how they manage their resources to get themselves to an interview.
Non Profit Cover Letter Examples
The first one comes from Carolyn. She is writing a non profit cover letter for a position of Case Manager, which requires case management experience and service/treatment provision, and coordinating integration activities.
Carolyn has some previous experience and her non-profit cover letter makes use of her achievements to underline that she can step up to the challenge.
Example #1: Cover Letter For a Non Profit with Experience
Example #1: Cover Letter For a Non Profit with Experience—Text Version
Carolyn D. Salas
4956 Tetrick Road
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Fort Myers, Dec 13, 2019
PATH (People Assisting The Homeless)
1 Main Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33912
When I spotted that you’re looking for a Case Manager at PATH, I decided there is no time to waste. Having 3+ years of experience as a case worker at Momentum, a mental health charity, I believe I have the skills that will maximise the amount of people we get from the streets into a stable life situation.
You wrote that you are searching for a Case Manager to provide case management services such as outreach and intake, mental health services, and treatment plans. As a Case Worker at Momentum, I have taken part in more than 400 intake interviews, resulting in over 340 opened cases. I have helped to organise treatment planning and mental health service provision for these cases, 82% of which were completed successfully. I have organized recovery-focused and community integration activities in the Fort Myers area, successfully aligning 87 patients with full-time employment. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Board of Behavioral Sciences, and graduated with a Master’s in Social Work & Social Welfare from the University of Chicago with a 3.8 GPA. I believe I have the preparation necessary to handle a significant part of the caseload at PATH and convert it into real results.
I am excited to be applying to such a progressive non profit that is making use of the newest developments in the field of Social Work, and is so committed to the Housing First approach. I believe that with the right investment we can bring the same approach to the Fort Myers area and eradicate homelessness here in the next decade.
Can we have a meeting to discuss how to most efficiently follow the Housing First principles and maximise the number of people served in 2020?
Carolyn D. Salas
Wow, Carolyn is going places, you can be sure of that!
Is this example a little overwhelming? Worried, because you don’t have as much experience?
Here’s a non profit cover letter sample with no experience in this field of work.
Mary is applying to be an intern at a non profit.
The position calls for someone that will be tracking and analyzing legislation, drafting letters of support for key legislation and policies, and developing relevant databases.
She is still studying, but makes best use of her activities and achievements to show her suitability for the job.
Here’s her non profit cover letter.
Example #2: Cover Letter For Non Profit Internship
Example #2: Cover Letter For Non Profit Internship—Text Version
Mary J. Johnson
1785 Star Route
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Los Angeles, Dec 3, 2019
Manager of Advocacy & Public Policy
Clean Air LA
25 Main Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90017
I was thrilled to discover you’re searching for an Advocacy & Public Policy Intern at Clean Air LA. As a 4.0 GPA student on UCLA’s Master of Public Policy course with an active interest in local governance, I believe I have the tools to make a positive contribution to the quality of air in LA through our combined efforts.
I believe I have what it takes to step up to the responsibilities you describe as required from your Advocacy & Public Policy Intern. I have been active in petitioning the local government for 2+ years on environmental issues, so I am experienced in tracking and analyzing legislation, as well as being familiar with some key relevant legislation on city and state level. During this time, I have written over 10 petitions to the City Clerk as well as the state, with 7 of them being accepted and discussed in official minutes. My educational background provided me with quantitative modules such as Statistics in Public Policy, while my data entry job allowed me to gain extensive Microsoft Excel and SQL database skills, and input over 40,000 insurance records with 99.8% accuracy. I am therefore equipped to run relevant databases for Clean Air LA.
Southern California has the nation's worst smog problem, as well as the highest levels of ozone pollution in the United States, with a 10% increase in deaths from ozone pollution between 2010 and 2017. The time to act is now, which is why I would like to help you however I can. As an intern I will eagerly paper over the cracks wherever needed and tackle this problem head-on. I believe I have the appropriate skills to contribute to the effective operation of Clean Air LA.
When would be a good time to have a meeting or a call to discuss what key metrics need to be tracked in your databases?
Mary J. Johnson
With a nonprofit cover letter sample like either one of these, you’re gonna be in the conversation.
Let’s write your own nonprofit cover letter.
How to Write a Non Profit Cover Letter
Here’s how to write the perfect non profit cover letter:
1. Square Up The Cover Letter Format
Stick to the classic business formatting.
Make the information readily available, don’t make them work for it.
Here is the standard business cover letter format:
- Make sure it’s the same font as your resume font. Pick one that is easily readable: Calibri, Cambria, Times New Roman, etc.
- Always ‘Align Left’. There is no need to use justification.
- Use 1.15 line spacing, and leave an empty line between every section and paragraph.
- Use at least a 1-inch margin on every side.
- Perfect cover letter length? 1 page.
Then it’s time to consider what to include in your cover letter.
2. Make a Header With Your Contact Information
You don’t want to have person reading your non profit cover letter have to flip pages, if they decide to give you a shot.
Make sure the header of your cover letter matches your resume header.
When entering contact details, many people skip the address entirely now, and depending on the job it may be okay, but don’t accidentally forget your email.
Underneath, enter a space and put down the city and date, and below it, paste the details of the person you are writing your non profit cover letter to.
We can compare notes:
Cover Letter For Non Profit Organization: Header
[ Your Full Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Address ]
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn Profile ] (Optional)
[ City and Date ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Full Name ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Position ]
[ Company Name ]
[ Company Street Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
Expert Hint: If the non profit you are applying to is engaged in social work, you may be required to get certified as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Check the pathways to becoming a LCSW in your state—being on the pathway to achieving such an advanced certification is also something you can put on your nonprofit cover letter.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.
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3. Introduce Yourself By Identifying The Position You’re Applying For
Demonstrate your ability to get to the point.
Once somebody picks up your non profit cover letter, make sure they can get everything out of it and get out inside the minute.
So get to the point.
At the start of your cover letter, identify which position you’re applying for, and right away give them a reason to keep reading—an achievement, or something that will set you apart from the rest.
You can fill in these [blanks] to get you started.
Non Profit Cover Letter: Introduction
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name]:
I was elated to discover that you are seeking a [Target Position Name] at [Target Organization Name]. During my [number of years]+ years as a [Previous Position Title], I have developed the [very strong relevant skills you have] skills that will allow me to tackle [Key requirement from the job posting] at [Target Organization Name].
4. Give Them Reasons To Hire You
At a non-profit, you need to be a problem solver.
They don’t exist to earn money, they exist to solve problems.
Consider—what are their problems right now?
The answers are within the job posting. Scour it for the most important skills and characteristics, and think how you can relate your own past achievements to prove you can handle it with ease.
This is what makes the second paragraph of the non profit cover letter.
Back it up from numbers and achievements from your resume.
See this paragraph from one of our sample cover letters for non profits:
Non Profit Cover Letter Sample: Second Paragraph
You have advertised that you are seeking a [Target Position Name], with competencies in [refer to the requirements of the job]. At [Name of Your Previous Employer], I have developed invaluable experience in [refer to the requirements of the job], which resulted in [a metric, achievement, or statistic that proves your excellence in this area]. I have also devoted a lot of time to developing my managerial skills through [relevant responsibilities, duties, or projects you’ve successfully completed, supported by metrics, if possible]. My expertise in [case management/policy research/securing funding/other important requirement] combined with [Target Position Name]’s know-how and resources will mean we can achieve [important metric/outcome for your new employer].
Expert Hint: A lot of people entering the non profit sector have a volunteering background. How to describe it to stand out from everyone else’s volunteering gap year? Check out the guide to putting your volunteering experience on your resume and non profit cover letter in the best way.
5. Present Your Research Of The Employer
Let’s not kid ourselves.
People are often steered into this sector by conviction. By ideological reasons.
It is fine to display this. What is better, however, is to display having done genuine research into the organization that you’re applying to join.
Find out what they’re really about. There will be one little nugget of info somewhere that is important to the person reading your non profit cover letter. Try to find it.
Fill in the [blanks]:
Non Profit Cover Letter Sample: Third Paragraph
I have decided to apply to join [Target Organization Name] as my personal convictions align with the types of outcomes you are trying to bring around. I want to devote my time and energy to [cause/something you genuinely admire about the company/values/way of working], and [Target Organization Name] is the best place to do it.
6. Request An Interview and Sign Off
Non profit cover letters come a dime a dozen.
There aren’t a lot of openings. A lot of candidates come from academic backgrounds.
There’s gonna be a lot of ‘hope to hear’-ing.
Let them hope.
Explicitly ask for a call or a meeting.
Non Profit Cover Letter Example: Sign Off With a Call to Action
When could we set up a meeting or a call to discuss how my [your best, most relevant skill/experience/their most important requirement] experience can help [Target Employer Name] achieve [something important to this employer]?
[Digital Copy of Your Handwritten Signature]
[Your Full Name]
Expert Hint: If you’re applying online, there are some specific issues to keep in mind when sending your non profit cover letter electronically, which our email cover letter guide will clue you up on.
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As you write a cover letter for nonprofit positions, remember to:
- Match the cover letter header to your resume header, and check that the contact info is up to date—both for you and the hiring person.
- Identify the position you’re applying to, and introduce yourself with a relevant achievement in the first paragraph.
- List your best achievements that match the requirements of the job, and back them up with numbers and evidence in the second paragraph of your non profit cover letter.
- Show some genuine interest in the organization and the cause, do some research, and write about something that struck a chord with you in your last paragraph.
- Request an interview and sign formally.
Do you have any more questions about writing a cover letter for non profit jobs? Did you find our non profit cover letter examples helpful? Leave us a comment, I’ll be more than happy to hear from you!