How to Reach Out to Volunteer

Reaching out to a volunteer coordinator can be scary if you have never done it before. Many college students get nervous about the idea of contacting a stranger. The good news is that there is a simple solution: planning. Ask yourself: How will you contact this person?, and go from there.

If you connect via a phone call, plan out what you want to say. Getting the basics down on a piece of paper for reference can help with the nervousness. Before calling, check the website to make sure that you are calling the right person, have the correct number, and know their name. Find out exactly who you will be speaking with, as this goes a long way.

If you prefer email, keep it short and state your name, a bit about yourself, and your purpose to make sure you get a response back. You are probably emailing a busy person, so short and purposeful writing is appreciated. If you need help with drafting a professional, business-like email, search the web for example templates. In the subject line, you may want to state your first and last names before a more generic topic, such as “Volunteer Opportunity Inquiry.”

So your subject line instead would read: “John Doe- Volunteer Opportunity Inquiry.”

This is helpful for volunteer coordinators because, at many places, they receive emails from people wanting to volunteer on a daily basis. Identifying yourself in the subject line makes it less likely that your email will get lost or confused with someone else’s similar inquiry.

The hardest part of reaching out is getting the confidence to just do it. If you truly want to get involved, you will take the initiative and make the contact. Remember that organizations are grateful for volunteer involvement and you will be able to breath a little easier as you step out of your routine to reach out to that contact.

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