How To Write a Letter of Recommendation For Community Service

Updated July 24, 2023

At some point during your career, you may find yourself being asked to write a community service recommendation letter for a past employee, student or volunteer. These can hold a significant amount of influence when it comes to making their application stand out from the rest, so it's a task that you should be fully prepared for. If you're not familiar with this kind of letter, you can follow some key steps to make sure you write one that effectively commands a hiring manager's attention.

In this article, we explain what a letter of recommendation for community service is and how to write a good one, and we provide you with an example and a fully customizable template.

What is a letter of recommendation for community service?

A letter of recommendation for community service is a letter that highlights the best qualities and attributes a person has demonstrated in their community, as well as their key skills and strengths. Many volunteer organizations require a letter of recommendation for community service as part of their applications. The point of writing such a letter is to portray a person's character, honesty and integrity in a positive manner, making them a desirable candidate to the organization they're hoping to volunteer with.

How to write a letter of recommendation for community service

If you've never drafted a letter of recommendation before, there are a few things you can make sure to do. Follow these steps to write a compelling letter of recommendation for community service:

1. Find out if there are specific guidelines required

Letters of recommendation don't need to be long, but they should aim to cover all the information the organization requires. The guidelines for a community service recommendation letter may vary depending on the organization you're contacting, so it's helpful to check ahead of time to figure out what they require in letters of recommendation and how you should submit them.

2. Make an outline

Plan out exactly what you want your letter to say before you begin writing it. For example, you could compile a list of three unique strengths the person you're writing the letter for has shown while you've known them and then elaborate on each one. It's helpful to remember that good recommendation letters typically include examples that showcase how the candidate has positively impacted your life in their previous role.

3. Remember who, what, why and when

A good letter of recommendation often incorporate the four W's:

  • Who: Who are you recommending?

  • What: What have they done that makes them a good person to work with?

  • Why: Why are they a good fit for this role?

  • When: When did you work with the person you are writing the letter for?

Answering these questions within your writing helps you ensure you cover the most important aspects of a recommendation letter.

4. End the letter appropriately

The end of your letter should include a conclusion sentence that summarizes your recommendation and why you think the person you are writing about is deserving of the position. It's also helpful to add your contact information in case the person reading the letter decides to contact you with further questions.

5. Check for errors and make revisions

Once you've written your letter of recommendation, make sure to read it over again to ensure you've communicated everything you wanted to clearly and effectively. Since you are most likely doing this as a favor for someone, it's a nice gesture to make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors before submitting.

Example of a letter of recommendation for community service

Here's an example of a community service reference letter that was written using the tips above:

February 19, 2021
Holly Baird
4425 Clement St. Atlanta, GA 30331

Dear Ms. Baird,

This letter is a personal recommendation for Anna Romero. Over the last four years, she has served alongside me as a volunteer for the local Youth Volunteer Corp. During our time together, I have come to know Anna and her unwavering passion for helping the local youth very well.

Anna is one of the most dedicated volunteers to have ever worked beside me. Her kindness, compassion and dependability are unmatched. From planning sporting events for the children to waking up early on weekends to set up and run fundraisers, Anna does it all with a smile on her face. She fulfills any commitment she makes no matter what how many responsibilities she faces in a day, and she has proven herself as one of the most honest and trustworthy person I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

After getting to know Anna over several years, I am extremely confident in her abilities. Anna is well-liked by all and has always been dedicated to helping our community grow and thrive. I can't think of a more capable person for the position you're looking to fill. If you'd like to discuss Anna's qualifications further, please reach out to me at (123) 456-7890 or by email at

John Silva

Community service letter of recommendation template

You can personalize the following template depending on who you're writing the letter for, who the recipient is and other customizable details:

[Recipient's address]

Dear [recipient's name]

This letter is a personal recommendation for [applicant's name]. I have known [applicant's name] for [amount of time you worked together], and in that time, they have served alongside me as an exceptional volunteer for [name of volunteer organization]. During our time together, I have come to know [applicant's] talents extremely well.

[Applicant's positive characteristics] all make them a perfect fit for this role. I have seen them demonstrate [skills and examples of work ethic] from the first day we began working together. They are highly organized and dedicated in all they do, and because of that dedication, they have had an impact on our organization that will last for years to come. I have never met anyone who works as hard as [applicant's name]. If you have any questions about [applicant's name] or our time working together, feel free to reach out to me at [phone number] or by email at [email address].

[Your name]

Download Community Service Letter of Rec Template

To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.


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