Member Spotlight: Dien Yuen

Posted by askirvin on Dec 11, 2023 04:29:54 PM

Dien Yuen is the CEO and co-founder of Daylight Advisors. She is also the founder of the Center for Philanthropy and Social Impact at The American College of Financial Services. Dien created the Advisors of Color CAP® Study Group, a support group for BIPOC advisors seeking their designations. She also designed the Purpose School, an immersive and interactive learning experience that helps leaders explore the intersection of purpose and social impact. Picture of Dien Yuen

In November 2023, Dien was inducted into the CGP Hall of Fame at the CGP Conference for her remarkable contributions to the community. We had the opportunity to sit down with Dien and discuss her strategies, tools and advice for other planned giving professionals.

How did you find yourself in planned giving?
I was working at the public defender’s office and in the process of applying to join the FBI while waiting for my bar exam results. I found myself at the American Cancer Society when my grandmother had cancer. I did not know what planned giving was, but it seemed like an excellent way to bring together my interest to serve and my legal background. Planned giving was so new that even my supervisor didn’t know what my job was. 

What strategies help you navigate the challenges of working in an ever-changing field?
Curiosity, finding new ways to approach issues, and the pressure of constantly having to reinvent myself help me navigate the challenges in this ever-changing field. Being fluent with the tools is not hard, but understanding how to influence human behavior is. We still don’t have enough data on how to change donor behavior.

What tools have driven your success?
I look for new people to sit with whenever I attend an event. There is always someone smarter than you, that may have tested ideas, or figured out a new way to connect advisors. I don’t ask what they do; I ask what they learned recently and if they can share that story with me. 

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is when I see alignment between what the donor needs, how the advisors delivered it as a team, and the resources utilized. The reward is really the journey because that feeling of impact - of ‘good and right’ - stays with you, and you want to keep replicating it.

Share some advice for individuals interested in pursuing a career in planned giving.
The lack of diversity is an issue, but don’t let it stand in your way. You don’t have to be alone - you don’t have to be the only one. Reach out and find others - there is a community of us trying to make it better.

Is there anything you would like to add? 
The acceleration of ideas and issues in the world is happening at a breathtaking pace. Yet our field seems to enjoy the same way of doing things and approaching donors in the same way. Should we continue teaching these methods, as they may only be delivering organic growth and not the growth that the world needs?


Thank you to Dien for sharing her experience and advice with us. If you have any career news updates, share them with CGP for the opportunity to be featured in an upcoming Member Spotlight.

Topics: Member Spotlight