Home » How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Your Volunteer
As a volunteer manager, you’re likely approached from time to time for a letter of recommendation. Whether this recommendation letter is for college admissions, a scholarship application, or employment, volunteer managers should recognize the inherent responsibility in agreeing to write one for a volunteer. Indeed, these letters can help shape the life-path of the volunteer.
Volunteer recommendation letters offer a more personal insight than what is presented in a standard application or CV. Rather, these letters typically include the positive qualities, values, and skills witnessed by the author, and how these experiences have uniquely poised the volunteer to excel in the position for which they are applying.
While the trend of volunteer recommendation letters is somewhat new, gatekeepers in academia and the workforce are becoming more keen to how volunteer work can positively influence an applicant. As a volunteer manager, therefore, these requests are likely to become more frequent. But don’t worry–we’ve got you! Make sure you bookmark this page, because we’re going to share everything you need to know about writing a stellar volunteer recommendation letter, and we’ll even share a template to get you started!
In the simplest terms, a volunteer recommendation letter describes the volunteer work done by a community member. These letters typically communicate the positive attributes and skills that the volunteer brought to the organization, as well as the author’s overall impression of the volunteer.
Volunteer managers typically write these letters at the volunteer’s request. Letters of recommendation can help bolster a volunteer’s application to a university, a scholarship, or even a full-time job, while also communicating important insights into the applicant’s values, skills, and interests.
Letters of recommendation are important because they act as social proof of the positive contributions of the volunteer. Because the recipient is usually a hiring manager or a university admissions officer, letters of recommendation can be pivotal in your volunteer landing a new job or earning a scholarship. Furthermore, the specific details of a recommendation letter can help paint a fuller picture of the applicant that may be hard to visualize through standard applications alone.
The different components of your recommendation letter will differ based on the specific requests of the volunteer, as well as the place the letter is going. But in general, you will want to include the following sections:
After you have double checked the recipient information and carefully edited the letter, it is time to send it. Ask your volunteer for submission instructions–they should be able to provide you with this information.
This following volunteer letter of recommendation template is for someone who might be applying for a job, a scholarship, or a university, and would like to showcase their philanthropic work:
[City, State Zip Code]
Dear [insert recipient name],
I am writing this recommendation on behalf of [insert first and last name], who has volunteered with [name of organization] for the past [amount of time spent volunteering]. [First name] was dedicated to our mission to [insert mission statement or brief description of the organization], and was an invaluable member of our volunteer team.
In my capacity as [specify your job title or volunteer role] with [name of organization], I supervised [first name] while they [include list of activities or volunteer roles of the applicant]. [First name] proved themselves to be [include positive traits that you witnessed, such as responsible, hard-working, etc]. I was particularly impressed by them when they [include specific examples that demonstrated positive traits, such as when they were patient while tutoring children, showed leadership while leading a summer program, etc].
Based on my personal working experience with [first name], I recommend them without hesitation for [specify the scholarship, job title, university name, etc]. I sincerely believe they would thrive if given this opportunity.
Feel free to contact me at [phone number] and/or [email address] if I may answer any further questions.
[First and Last name of Author]
Though volunteer letters of recommendation are a somewhat new trend, requests are likely to become more frequent as the world recognizes the skills that can be built through volunteerism. We suggest you save this page and return to it as needed to make letter writing a breeze!
Author: Annelise Ferry
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