The frugal philanthropist

It is possible to be both financially conservative and generous to those in need. Josh Rizzo, Director of Philanthropy at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, explains how to find a health balance between the two.

At first, it might seem like saving and giving work against each other, but both are ultimately about achieving the greatest amount of good with your money. In order to coordinate these practices with your preferred lifestyle, it helps to develop a clear plan.

“In the beginning of my marriage, my wife and I talked about living below our means so that we could give to others while still spending money on things we found meaningful,” Rizzo says. “And that system has worked well for us, even now that we’re a family of three.”

Rizzo and his wife, Nicole, minimize expenses by living in a moderate home and sharing one car. Another part of their financial strategy involves avoiding debt
and closely following a budget, which includes a category for donations. Within this framework, they feel organized and in control of their spending. If you would like more comfort and direction when it comes to giving back, Rizzo recommends the following:

Set something aside. Regardless of whether you donate one percent of yourincome or closer to 20 percent, start somewhere. Any amount can make a difference. Just decide how much you’re secure about giving and then consistently follow through with that commitment.

Contribute to your values. “Deciding where to direct your donations can be overwhelming because so many organizations could use your support,” Rizzo says. “I encourage people to decide what matters the most and then partner with organizations pursuing those missions.”

Make it meaningful. Maybe you’ve lost a dear friend to cancer and want to support research that seeks to improve treatment of the disease. Or perhaps
suicide prevention is something you feel strongly about. Whatever the case, the more personal the connection you have to an idea or project, the more invested you’ll feel—and the more you’ll appreciate supporting that cause.

To turn these principles into practice, Rizzo recommends working with a financial planner, who can also help you optimize your tax deductions.

An Ongoing Investment to the Community

Beyond making single contributions to specific departments such as Pediatrics, Mental Health, or Hospice, donors also have the option to arrange a more
lasting investment through an endowment fund with the HSHS St. Joseph’s Foundation.

“In the past, we connected donors with ongoing projects, but now we can set up family or memorial funds that keep the principal balance intact,” says Josh Rizzo, Director of Philanthropy at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital. “We feel this gives donors more ownership as they support whatever is most meaningful
for them.”

If local health care is a passion of yours, call 715.717.7231 and speak with Josh Rizzo about giving to HSHS St. Joseph’s Foundation.

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