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Accountant helps asphalt heirs give gift and give back

Family stands in front of construction site
Bill Choler with the Perrin family

When a family business is considering a significant financial move, their accountant is often the first to know.

That was the case for Pam Perrin Kostoff, daughter of Perrin Asphalt Company owners Charles and Patricia Perrin. After a record year of profits, Pam called CPA Bill Choler at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP with an idea to capitalize on the profit with year-end charity.

"(She) said they wanted to do something for their parents' benefit, and they wanted to do something for the community," Choler explained.

Pam suggested starting a private foundation in Charles and Patricia's name.

Choler knew the Perrins' commitment to running a tight business, which they built from the ground up over 50 years. He also knew their history of giving back even when money was tight. He needed a solution that suited his clients' generous, hard-working background.

Choler did the research and ultimately recommended that Pam start a donor-advised fund at Akron Community Foundation.

"The time commitment and the expense of setting up a foundation would far outweigh the benefits," Choler said. "With the administrative work handled by Akron Community Foundation, (a donor-advised fund) enables the Perrin family to focus their efforts on helping the community."

A charitable fund at Akron Community Foundation could accomplish everything Pam and her siblings wanted, Choler said, "with much less expense than setting up their own nonprofit, so they could focus their resources on giving rather than administrative busywork."

"There are a lot of (options) available, but Akron Community Foundation is very well-respected in the community, very well-thought-of and very well-managed. So there was no question that was the one we wanted them to go to. It gives a lot of flexibility to the fundholder," he said.

Pam was pleased: both with the benefits of the fund itself and the simplicity of setting it up. 

"It was a half-hour meeting with Laura Lederer (vice president and chief development officer), and there really wasn't a whole lot for us to think about," she said.

Choler admitted it's sometimes difficult to gauge the point when clients are ready for philanthropy, as it varies on a case-by-case basis. But, when they're ready, setting up a fund at the community foundation is an easy way to meet his clients' objectives. 

"Some want scholarships; some have long-term goals of what they want to do," he explained. "So they could put money aside through the (community) foundation and meet that long-term goal."

Because of their strong family ties, Kostoff and her sister, Kim Hengle, anticipate the fund benefiting family-related nonprofits like Pregnancy Care and Catholic Charities. Of her mother, Kostoff said, "She wants to help. She wants to give to young families and help them raise their own families."

Charles and Patricia say they already donate to organizations like the Haven of Rest homeless shelter and Good Neighbors food pantry in Goodyear Heights, and they look forward to giving under the name of their new fund.

No matter which causes the Perrins decide to support, they believe one thing is certain: Their fund has created a family legacy that will live on for generations to come.

Do you have clients considering a private foundation? They may benefit from a donor-advised fund, too. Download our helpful comparison chart to learn more.

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