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About The American Gift Fund


The American Gift Fund was founded in 1998. The Fund was one of the earliest Donor Advised Funds approved by the US Internal Revenue Service.

The American Gift Fund received full 501(c)(3) status in 2000.

The Board of Directors of the American Gift Fund established the fund with the two primary objectives:

  • Improve the availability of philanthropic funds for charitable giving
  • Reduce the cost of charitable giving

The American Gift Fund has continued to grow each year both in terms of accounts, contributions, and grants made. The Fund has continued to both encourage and make grants in excess of 10% of its funds.

In 2011 the American Gift Fund was able to establish a Board of Trustee Fund where the Board has the capability to make Board initiated grants. In 2012 this fund made it first grants to charitable organizations.

RBC Relationship

Although the American Gift Fund is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization governed by an independent Board of Trustees, it has formed a unique relationship with RBC Trust Company (Delaware) Limited. This relationship has been in place since the establishment of the American Gift Fund in 1998. The trust company is headquartered in Wilmington Delaware. RBC Trust Company (Delaware) Limited offers full service trust operations for its clients.

RBC Trust Company (Delaware) Limited provides administration, account management, verification of donor advisor grant recommendations, grant payments, and investment management for all American Gift Fund donor advised accounts.


American Gift Fund is governed by an independent Board of Directors which meets monthly to review the financial and operational performance of the American Gift Fund. The Board also reviews and approves both donor advisor recommended grants and Board initiated grants.

The Board engages an outside accounting firm to review and audit all financial operations, IRS 990 submissions and grants made by the American Gift Fund. This audit is available to all donor advised fund advisors.

The American Gift Fund submits an annual IRS form 990 to the US Internal Revenue Service. Additional financial reporting is provided to all State’s Attorney Generals where American Gift Fund donor advised funds have been created.

Board of Trustees

Lyman Amsden

  • Served 40 years as a school administrator in Vermont with 22 years as superintendent of schools in three schools districts including the largest school district in Vermont
  • Served on professional boards both in Vermont and New England for over 30 years
  • Owns and manages 28 rental units
  • Volunteer for Hospice and Habitat for Humanity
  • M.A. in School Administration from the University of Connecticut

Michael Appley

  • RBC Trust Company (Delaware) Limited, Chairman and Managing Director
  • 22 years Trust and Estate Planning experience
  • Juris Doctorate of Law from St. John's School of Law
  • CSS in Administration and Management from Harvard University

L. Paul Dorsey

  • Chief Investment Officer and a founding partner of Barley Mill Asset Management
  • 25 years of experience in investment management
  • Holds a graduate degree in finance from the Lerner School of Business at the University of Delaware.
  • Chartered Financial Analyst® charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia.
  • Was a Supply Officer on board the USS Clark FFG-11 during his tour of duty in the US Navy

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