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Non-Profit Resume Cover Letter Samples

You know that next job of yours? Yes, that’s right, the really amazing one with the brilliant co-workers, cool boss, and fresh, free snacks in the office vending machine? That one.

You know how you’re going to land it? By quickly showing your future employer that:

a) You’re going to perform incredibly well in this job.
b) You’re insanely likable.
c) You’re really going to fit in around there.

These are the three primary factors that influence the selection process. The person who wins that great job will be the one who shows the decision makers, quickly, that he or she is all three of those things. And you have an amazing opportunity to begin planting these seeds right from the introduction, à la your cover letter.

Most people squander the opportunity. Instead of using their cover letter real estate to their massive advantage, they toss over bland, cliche-filled, or completely-redundant-to-the-resume clunkers. Or worse, they showcase all the things that they want out of the deal, without pausing for a moment to recognize that the company cares a heck of a lot more about what it’s going to get from you.

As a recruiter, it pains me to read most cover letters, because the vast (and I mean vast) majority of them stink. Knowing this should inspire you even further to create a brilliant one. Because, let me tell you, on those rare occasions an amazing cover letter crosses my desk? Mamma mia. It makes my day, and it most certainly influences my interest in its author.

So, how do you pull off a killer cover letter, one that conveys passion and talent and that makes the recruiter or hiring manager’s day? Make sure you do all of these things.

1. Tell Them Why, Specifically, You’re Interested in the Company

Decision makers never want to feel like you’re wallpapering the universe with the same pathetic cover letter. They want to feel special. And so, you need to make it clear that you’re approaching this organization for very specific reasons. And ideally, not the same very specific reasons that everyone else is giving.

Example

Try a high-personality lead in like this: “Having grown up with the Cincinnati Zoo (literally) in my backyard, I understand firsthand how you’ve earned your reputation as one of the most family-friendly venues in the State of Ohio. For 20 years, I’ve been impressed as your customer; now I want to impress visitors in the same way your team has so graciously done for me.”

2. Outline What You Can Walk Through the Doors and Deliver

This isn’t you making a general proclamation of, “Hey, I’m great. I swear!” You need to scrutinize the job description and use whatever other information you’ve gathered about the opening, determine the key requirements and priorities for this job, and make it instantly clear to the reviewer that you can deliver the goods on these key things.

Example

Consider crafting a section within the letter that begins with, “Here’s what, specifically, I can deliver in this role.” And then expound upon your strengths in a few of the priority requirements for that role (they’re typically listed first on the job description or mentioned more than once).

3. Tell a Story, One That’s Not on Your Resume

As humans, we love stories far more than we love data sheets. (OK, I speak for most humans). So, what’s your story? What brings you to this company? Did you used to sing along to all of its commercials as a kid? Did the product make some incredible difference in your life? Do you sometimes pull into the parking lot and daydream about what it would feel like to work there? Tell your story. Just make sure you have a great segue. Random trivia can come across as weird.

Example

Say you’re applying for a marketing job with a baked goods company known for its exquisite tarts and pies. You may want to weave a sentence or two into your cover letter about how you took the blue ribbon in the National Cherry Festival pie eating contest when you were 10, and that you’ve been a pie fanatic ever since. (Yes, this was me, but I actually came in second place. Sigh.)

4. Address the Letter to an Actual Person Within the Company

Not one employee at your future new company is named “To Whom it May Concern,” so knock that off. You’ve got to find a real person to whom you can direct this thing.

This seems so hard or overwhelming, but it’s often easier than you may think. Just mosey over to LinkedIn and do a People search using the company’s name as your search term. Scroll through the people working at that company until you find someone who appears to be the hiring manager. If you can’t find a logical manager, try locating an internal recruiter, the head of staffing or, in smaller companies, the head of HR. Address your masterpiece to that person. Your effort will be noted and appreciated.



And a last, critical factor when it comes to delivering a great cover letter: Be you. Honest, genuine writing always goes much, much further than sticking to every dumb rule you’ve ever read in stale, outdated career guides and college textbooks.

Rules can be bent. In fact, if you truly want that amazing job with the brilliant co-workers, cool boss, and fresh, free snacks? They should be.

That's awesome to hear, because connecting great people to great jobs is kinda our thing.

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A strong cover letter is one that is targeted on your industry as well as the specific job to which you are applying. It should be packed with relevant expertise and speak directly to the employer’s needs. Begin building your own powerful, customized cover letter today by checking out our free non-profit cover letter template. Learn how you can put together a unique letter for your next job application using the samples and related advice below.

What to Include in a Non-Profit Cover Letter

Begin by comparing your qualifications to the requirements listed in the job application. This will help you decide what is most relevant to include in this cover letter as you hone in on what a hiring manager will most be interested in seeing (such as your background working with children’s causes, your project management experience, and your history of developing effective strategic marketing campaigns). The employer has already told you what they are looking for via their advertisement, so make sure you focus your letter accordingly.In all, the letter should be one page (or less) in length and contain up to five paragraphs. Start strong by addressing the hiring manager by name and giving a confident statement in your first paragraph about why you are perfect for the job. Follow up with a clear comparison of your matching qualifications. Then add additional knowledge that will be an asset in the role (such as your event planning knowledge, brand development skills, and driven nature). End with an equally strong final paragraph that again outlines your strength as a top candidate and promises you will reach out soon to schedule a follow up meeting.

Sample Cover Letter

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Cover Letter Content
Having contributed my skills in high profile non-profit organizations, I know how valuable self-directed and passionate staff members are to your mission. The organization that differentiates itself through successful outreach and program initiatives is the best equipped to serve at-risk and needy populations. My desire to contribute to Pioneer Family Outreach’s mission has motivated me to apply my outgoing personality, enthusiasm, knowledge, and experience to the marketing coordinator position you advertised.In my 17 years of non-profit experience, I have worked my way up from volunteer to program leader by consistently demonstrating my personal drive and commitment to the mission. While working with important non-profit groups I also worked on my education, obtaining a Master’s degree in Marketing so I could better serve those most at need of our help.You want someone fully versed in all aspects of traditional and on-line marketing as well as event planning, public relations, materials development, and branding. I bring all of this expertise and so much more to the role. I also possess strong management, leadership, decision making, and critical thinking skills, each of which I know will be an asset as your new Marketing Coordinator.My education, skills, and experience will enable me to address the challenges you face and needs to be met in our current climate. I appreciate your time and consideration.