Young Professional Spotlight: Christianna Luy

Posted by kturner on Mar 16, 2021 04:36:49 PM

Christianna Luy, CFRE, is an Assistant Vice President for CCS Fundraising and has been a member of CGP for 3 years. 

Why did you join CGP?
CGP is the best place to access the brightest minds in gift planning. From the annual conference to the webinars and online resources, I’ve appreciated the community of thought leaders who are willing to help their peers succeed.

Who or what inspired you to work in charitable gift planning?
Gift planning is one way everyone can participate in philanthropy. Too often people want to “do good” but feel constrained by their retirement needs. Not everyone can give a major gift, but everyone can leave something in their estate. Plus, gift planning is often a solution to the donor’s desires to support charity and have retirement income – the two can benefit at once. Gift planning is changing the philanthropic landscape and I enjoy learning the complexities of planned gifts as they bridge personal decision making, tax law, estate planning, and more.

How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your work in gift planning?
Gift planning is highly interpersonal work. When done well, it’s about what we want for our donors, not from them. Studying communications gave me a foundation for building meaningful relationships with donors and for coaching my clients in doing the same.  Learning to write well has also been important for my work. Whether it’s drafting a gift agreement or a stewardship note, writing precisely and concisely is beneficial. 

My graduate degree in philanthropic studies is directly applicable to my daily work. I can see the many ways that philanthropy is more than asking for money. I often consider the psychology of why someone is parting with their time, talent, treasure and I’m thoughtful in navigating how people are invited to give. I also frequently notice how practices of giving have evolved, the people who have made them more sophisticated, and the faith traditions that have influenced charity as a personal value that’s practiced for the benefit of others.

Are there any changes you would like to see in the profession?
I’d love to see more young professionals – fundraisers, financial advisors, and donors who benefit from the wealth transfer – work together in greater measure to resource nonprofits and the outcomes they’re achieving. Gift planning can be a win for all three audiences as people, especially donors, move into different life stages.

What is your advice for people that are new to the gift planning profession?
Gift planning takes some work to learn, but it’s a very rewarding niche within traditional fundraising. I remember when I helped my first donor with a charitable swap. I was still pretty green in my gift planning knowledge, but drew on the CGP community, learned a ton, and helped my donor avoid enormous capital gains taxes, maintain his portfolio, and make a gigantic gift to my nonprofit client. Seeing everyone benefit was a catalyst to keep building my gift planning muscles. 

Do you perform any volunteer service? If so, what and why?
I volunteer in my church every week leading a community group for professionals in their 30s and 40s. It’s an awesome group!

Quick Facts

How old are you? 35

Where is your hometown? Milwaukee, WI

BA – Mass Communications/Journalism
BA – Spanish Language & Literature
MA – Executive Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies
CFRE certification
TESOL certification

What is your favorite book? I just read Everybody Always by Bob Goff and it was so funny and heartwarming!

What is your favorite TV show? New Girl

What is your favorite movie? About Time

What are your hobbies? Skiing, hiking, and traveling.


The Young Professional Spotlight is a new feature of the CGP Blog that will regularly highlight some of our members age 40 or under. The Young Professionals Initiative is also hosting a Rising Star Panel on Tuesday, April 6 at 2 p.m. ET. The program will feature content for young professionals in gift planning, but all are welcome to attend this free event.


Topics: Membership