When you’re resigning from a volunteer position, it’s important to resign as gracefully as you would from paid employment.
Why does it make a difference how you resign? It’s common courtesy to give notice whenever possible. A no-show is inconvenient and confusing for the volunteer coordinator and other volunteers. You may not be paid as a volunteer, but you’re still needed. The organization will have to figure out how to cover your responsibilities and time.
Plus, people you work for and with when you volunteer make perfect personal references.
Leaving on a good note will help you secure a positive recommendation for your next job or volunteer position.
If you're thinking of leaving a volunteer role, here's what you need to know, plus tips for writing a volunteer resignation letter.
How to Resign From a Volunteer Position
Here's a good rule of thumb: Follow all the same rules for resigning from a volunteer position that you would for a paid position.
That means to be polite and respectful of the volunteer organization's needs. But, there's no need to share a lot of detail about why you're resigning; you can keep your letter brief and to the point.
How Much Notice Should You Give?
If you can, two weeks' notice is the standard. If you can’t, give as much notice as possible. There are no set requirements for leaving a volunteer job or regular employment, so it's up to you to decide how much advance notice to give.
Make sure your letter clearly conveys the last date you will be available as a volunteer.
You can say, "Today will be my last day as a volunteer at XYZ," or "As of July 1, I won't be available as a volunteer."
How Should You Resign?
It’s fine to send an email message to the volunteer coordinator or whomever you work with, letting them know you will no longer be available. If you prefer, mail a formal paper letter to the organization. A phone call is another option if that's easier for you.
What to Include in Your Resignation Letter
Lead off your letter with the most important information, which is that you are resigning and the effective date when you will no longer be volunteering. It's also a good idea to say thank you for the opportunity. You can also share if you've learned something.
There are other elements for your volunteer resignation letter that are more optional:
- Why you're resigning: You can include a reason for your resignation, but it's not required. If you do share a reason, don't feel like you have to include a lot of details.
- An offer to help: You can also offer to help with the transition if that makes sense, given the volunteer work.
- A look to the future: If you are open to volunteering in the future, mention that as well.
Tips for Writing a Resignation Letter
As you're writing your volunteer resignation letter, keep these tips in mind:
- Be professional: Follow the standard rules for formatting a business letterand proofread carefully.
- Keep it short: Your letter should not be longer than a page.
- Be positive: While you may be resigning from the position because you find fellow volunteers frustrating, the mission muddled, or the organization poorly run, there's no need to mention that in your resignation letter. Keep the tone positive,
- Remember to proofread: Avoid typos or formatting errors. These small mistakes can be attention-grabbing.
Email Resignation From a Volunteer Position
When you're sending an email resignation letter, put your name and resignation in the subject line.
Subject: Your Name - Resignation
It is with great regret that I need to inform you of my resignation from the Board of Trustees.
My work schedule and family commitments have become such that I cannot continue to volunteer the time necessary to do my job on the board with the thoroughness I would like. I will be resigning effective July 1, 2021.
Thank you for the opportunity, and best wishes to you and the other members going forward.
Volunteer Resignation Letter Sample
Use this resignation letter sample when you are writing to formally notify an organization where you volunteer that you are submitting your resignation. Be sure to tailor the letter or email message to fit your personal circumstances.
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname:
I have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at ZBD Community Hospital, but I wanted to let you know that I do not plan on continuing to volunteer during the summer.
Due to my acceptance into a local track and field summer program, I won't be able to commit to the necessary hours that are needed at the hospital. However, I would appreciate the opportunity to return to my position in the fall if possible. I am sorry if this causes any inconvenience.
Please let me know if I can return to volunteering during the school year.
Again, I appreciate the opportunity you have provided me. I learned a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience as well.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name