Pro-bono consulting through the lens of a full-time consultant: Jennifer Li April 26th, 2021
As a full-time Investment Consultant at Eckler – Canada’s largest independent actuarial consulting firm, Jennifer Li has built an impressive set of problem-solving and project management skills over the past five years. At Endeavour, Jennifer has used these skills to successfully help her pro-bono consulting teams navigate through six different client projects, since 2019.
Jennifer’s most recent role at Endeavour was as a Project Manager for the Canada Alopecia Areata Foundation (CANAAF) project.
Tell me about yourself, how did you hear about Endeavour and what made you interested in volunteering?
I am a passionate investment impact researcher and social impact contributor. I have a background in math, but I am also very artistic at the same time. My unique blend of creative and quantitative skills allows me to think outside the box and distill complex research and analysis into understandable and effective recommendations.
When I’m not working, I love travelling to new places and partaking in outdoor activities. I also dedicate a significant amount of time to volunteering and giving back to my community. Recently, Netflix has turned me into a huge Formula 1 racing fan.
I first heard about Endeavour from friends who had volunteered with the organization and they always had great things to say. I’ve also always wanted to volunteer for a pro bono consulting organization. After I graduated from university, I was focused on studying for the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exams but right after I passed all three exams, I immediately applied to become a Project Manager with Endeavour, and here I am!
What is your current job outside of Endeavour?
I work in the investment consulting industry where I help pension plans achieve their plan objectives through investment decisions and plan design. My areas of expertise include retirement adequacy modelling and innovation, multi-asset portfolios and responsible investment research.
What is your current role at Endeavour?
As a project manager, I support the pro-bono consulting team to ensure their project is on track. I am regularly in touch with the Engagement Manager to get routine status updates. To better understand team dynamics, I also touch base with two of the team’s pro-bono consultants once per month.
What skills have you gained since joining Endeavour?
Adaptability and risk management.
What do you think makes a good consultant and consulting team?
Good consultants need to be passionate about the non-profit sector and passionate about making an impact in their community. They should be open-minded and receptive to different perspectives and ideas. Most if not all team members will come from different professional backgrounds across the non-profit and for-profit sectors.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to get involved with Endeavour?
You should know why you want to get involved and how much time you have to dedicate. The more you put in, the more you will get out. Be prepared to be open to trying new things and to new challenges.
As someone who is a paid professional consultant, why consult pro-bono?
Pro bono consulting is a great way to widen your horizons – it exposes you to people and skills from outside of your professional expertise while you work together toward a common goal. It also exposes you to clients who you might not otherwise be able to afford professional consulting services.
Anything else you’d like to add?
In this upcoming pro-bono consulting round, I’ll be participating on to a project team as a consultant working directly with organizations and being closer to the “impact-making” process!
Jennifer Li is an Investment Consultant at Eckler and was a pro bono consultant and project manager with Endeavour Consulting for nonprofits.
To learn more about how you can join the Endeavour team visit
Written by: Mallory Thompson