With U.S. unemployment at its highest rate in eight years and the economy faltering, it's harder for many donors to give to charity this year. Use this giving guide to find out how you can do your part: research which charities to give to, test your Poverty I.Q., figure out your giving comfort level, and find inspiration to help you explore the giving spirit of the season.

A recent survey found that 91% of Americans plan to give to charity this holiday season. Here are ideas for which charities to donate to.

What's Your Favorite Charity?
Share your favorite charity with other Beliefnet members on the message boards. Some recent member favorites:
Salvation Army
"I will NEVER forget the Salvation Army. Every time I see one of those precious bell ringers, I ... give to them, knowing that it will truly help another human being." --screamintree

International Campaign for Tibet
"...and the sponsorship of Tibetan Monks and Nuns and children." --PoeticSoul
Compassion International
"The most rewarding charity we are involved in. We have sponsored a young boy, Victor for a few years. I am so blessed that I can give to a child who has so little." --footballmom

Camp Opportunity
"A non-profit that works with abused and neglected children. You can break their bones, but not their spirits." --LindaSellars

Special Holiday Charity Projects
Secret Santas, Sidewalk Santas, Toys for Tots and more season-specific charities that need your help during this time of the year.

America's Top 100 Charities
The editors of Worth Magazine compile the best arts, environmental, education, health, human services, and relief and development organizations.

Giving Time
Many organizations set up special Christmas volunteer projects. A few examples:
New York Soup Kitchens | Ideas in Houston | Chicago Holiday Volunteering | Projects in the Twin Cities | Opportunities in Kansas City

Most Inspiring-Related Charities
Support the projects affiliated with our Most Inspiring Person of the Year nominees:
Daniel Pearl Foundation
Promotes cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications.

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation
Funds research that develops treatments and cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders.

Todd M. Beamer Foundation
Helps children experiencing family trauma to make heroic choices.
Kids Cheering Kids
Helps children to reach out and enrich each other's lives.

UNICEF Girls' Education Program
Helps millions of children worldwide get quality education.

Voice of the Faithful
Formed in early 2002 to support those abused by priests, to support priests of integrity, and to support structural change within Church.

Not Sure How Much to Give?
Try out one of these online giving calculators:
Average Giving Calculator: Calculates your suggested donations based on the U.S. giving average
PrudentPal Charitable Giving Caluculator: Takes you through five steps to determine your comfortable giving capacity.

How Charitable Are You?
How much does your sense of charity affect your daily life?

What's Your Poverty I.Q.?
Take the quiz to see how attuned you are to the problem of poverty in the U.S. and in the world.

What to Know
How to Pick a 'Good' Charity

Which Contributions Are Tax-Deductible?

Handling Mail Appeals, Telephone Solicitations, and More
Tips from the Better Business Bureau

Questions to Ask
Important things to know about a nonprofit before giving money.

What Your Holiday Gift Money Can Do for the Greater Good
If you spent on charity as much as you spend on holiday gifts, how many lives could you change?

The Half and Half Holiday
Let's spend as much on charity as we do on Christmas gifts. By Gregg Easterbrook

The Hundred Dollar Holiday
Writer Bill McKibben advocates a simple Christmas.

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