Born and raised in Placerita Canyon, Mike Bjorkman has always been passionate about giving back to the communities he’s a part of. Most recently, he’s done this through his activities in the real estate industry.
Today, Bjorkman is based in Santa Clarita – an area he knows with a level of intimacy that few can match. He’s familiar with its streets, people, and, most importantly, its heart. Through his real estate efforts, he’s attempted to amplify Santa Clarita’s terrific sense of community, unparalleled schools, and ideal atmosphere for raising a family.
Of course, real estate is not the only way that Bjorkman has dedicated himself to giving back to those that have already given him so much. He, like many others, makes various charitable contributions throughout the year – something he encourages everyone to take on. Therefore, if you’re thinking of increasing your charitable giving this year but aren’t quite sure where to begin, there are several essential things to keep in mind.
The Art of Charitable Giving: Breaking Things Down
Mike Bjorkman explains that the most important step on the road to better charitable giving is researching and finding those organizations with values that align with your own.
There are two distinct ways to do this – on a local level and a national one. He urges people to go online and find non-profit organizations in their area and visit their websites. Most have some type of mission statement that clearly outlines who they are, what their cause is, and why even the smallest donation can make a big difference.
Donating locally can certainly positively impact the community you already live in, but don’t forget that national organizations need help time and again too. If you’re going to give, you absolutely should – but you should still put in the time to make sure that you’re contributing to an organization with an ultimate goal that you can get behind.
Another best practice that Mike Bjorkman hopes people follow involves being as proactive as possible in their giving. Yes, the world around us is changing dramatically, and new causes are constantly popping up. But for the benefit of those organizations, don’t wait until something adverse happens in the news before you make your contribution. Make that contribution today so that, if in six months something happens, they already have access to the funds they need to do something about it.
Everyone should complete the additional step of confirming an organization’s 501(c) (3) status before contributing. This is a tax-exempt status under the current Internal Revenue Code that ensures every cent you donate goes to the cause you want to support. It’s an important distinction, as you don’t want to find out later that only a certain percentage helped, and the rest went into someone else’s pocket.
Mike Bjorkman goes on to mention that the vast majority of all organizations will have this information listed on their website. If they don’t, you should feel comfortable picking up the phone and inquiring before sending that money.
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