Four professional development opportunities for volunteers


Volunteers are integral to our work at Parkinson Canada. Whether you’re a Parkinson’s ambassador, support group facilitator, events coordinator, or involved in another way, you are helping Parkinson Canada ensure that people living with Parkinson’s discover the life they envisioned is still possible.

We can’t do it without you! But sometimes it’s important to take time for your own growth as well.

Here are four ways you can level up your skills to set yourself up for success in your next volunteer role or career move.

1. Volunteer Canada’s free webinars and knowledge base

Volunteer Canada is a go-to source for volunteers looking to expand their knowledge about community engagement and lend new skills within their volunteer positions. Because many of these skills are transferable, people often find they can apply them to their professional and personal lives as well.

Volunteer Canada says they provide national leadership and expertise on volunteer engagement to increase the participation, quality, and diversity of volunteer experiences. They provide pre-recorded webinars on all things volunteerism, including pivoting to virtual volunteering, intergenerational volunteering, and community resilience.

Visit their knowledge base to take in these invaluable discussions

They also have a blog, called The Volunteer Vibe that explores community engagement in all its facets. Read the Volunteer Vibe

2. University of Alberta’s free Indigenous Awareness course

In recent years, the need for indigenous awareness has come into the spotlight as a must-have skill when working with diverse populations across the country. Understanding the experiences of the indigenous peoples of Canada, both past and present day, gives volunteers a lens in which to apply a more conscientious practice within their volunteer roles. Oftentimes, volunteers who take professional development steps within the realm of indigenous awareness are providing much-needed guidance to not-for-profits.

University of Alberta offers a free indigenous Canada course to better understand our colonial history and how critical it is to understand how to better service and work alongside the indigenous peoples of Canada.

Sign up for their free course here

3. Dalhousie University’s equity, diversity and inclusion certificate program

Dalhousie University offers standalone courses on various topics surrounding equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as well as an EDI certificate comprised of four courses, three weeks in length each.

While these courses are offered in an online format, there are fees associated. The demand for EDI-knowledgeable employees and volunteers is ever-growing and these courses would be an investment into your future abilities for managing EDI initiatives in your next position.

Sign up for their EDIJ standalone courses or certificate program here

4. LinkedIn Learning’s Leadership Foundations course

If you’re new to Linkedin Learning, this robust online learning resource is filled with professional development training on every topic under the sun. All you need to do is search for your topic of interest and peruse the numerous courses available related to your topic. As there are always many to choose from, we recommend keeping an eye on each course’s star rating, the number of ‘learners’ who have completed the course and scan the comments section to ensure the course will truly be of value to you.

In this case, Linkedin Learning’s leadership foundations course is a high-quality course covering everything a volunteer needs to know to mindfully step into leadership roles. Including a certificate of completion, this course is free as your first course through Linkedin Learning!

Complete the course here

Learning is a life-long process

Continued learning throughout our lives is key to landing new opportunities for ourselves and helping us understand the ever-evolving world around us. Have you invested in your professional development lately? Let us know in the comments below what professional development you’ve undertaken recently.