write business letter?

Business Letter Writing Topic

Seek Volunteers for a Nonprofit Organization


Sometimes a company needs employee volunteers to help shape a company policy or process or to plan an event. For example, employees may be asked to join a task force on emergency preparedness, to plan a major company social event, or to reexamine vacation policies.

Some of your colleagues will readily volunteer for these above-and-beyond, unremunerated commitments, while others will not want to lend even more time to job-related responsibilities. It’s quite an art to bring volunteers on board for the general good of the organization and to make them feel rewarded through the volunteer effort itself.

In this application, you are the coordinator of volunteer outreach for the nonprofit organization Reading Partners, a group working to enhance the reading experiences and literacy of grade-school students.


You need to write a letter to the leaders of a local organization (such as Elks Club, Kiwanis, and the National Organization for Women, etc.) to solicit volunteers to work with your nonprofit’s after-school programs for children aged 5 to 12 years old. You are asking the leaders of other organizations to contact their membership for potential volunteers.

The Purpose

You need to solicit 25 volunteers to engage in reading activities for children at least twice a week for a total of at least four hours each week per volunteer.

In your request, you will tell the organization that once you receive the names and contact information from the volunteers, your organization will schedule several orientation sessions to outline expectations, goals, and practical logistics. Your group will also train the volunteers on your program’s reading curriculum.

The Audience

Your audience in this case is already orientated toward community service, but members are also very busy and will need to be persuaded that reading proficiency among young children is a serious concern and that the volunteer’s time will be well spent.

Conduct a bit of Internet research so you can incorporate some key literacy statistics in your letter.

You should also mention some special perks for those who successfully engage in the volunteer service. Everyone who has worked with volunteers knows that they are committed to helping, but they also relish special opportunities to reward their free services.

Keep in mind, too, that you are soliciting these volunteers through other organizations. You want to make it easy for the leaders of other non-profits you contact to pass along your message to their own members.

The Communication Strategy

Write in the spirit of the nonprofit organization to another; that is, appeal to the recipients’ established interests in civic engagement and community responsibility. Provide enough information (include childhood literacy evidence referenced previously) about your program to appeal to potential volunteers, and provide clear contact information and time frame for launching the meetings and training sessions for new volunteers.

Make it worth the while of the nonprofit leaders to pass along the message to their employees and investors. Assure them that, in similar future endeavors, you would be happy to do the same.

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