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.
What's Your Favorite Charity?
Share your favorite charity with other Beliefnet members on the message boards. Some recent member favorites:
Locks of Love
"3 inches of hair can make a wig for a child, who has lost their hair from chemo, and other painful tests, that these brave little kids endure." --loriann32507
Alley Cat Allies
"My favorite charities are those dealing with the prevention of animal abuse and neglect and those that care for homeless animals, until hopefully proper placing can be arranged." --Corrieanne
"To know that I can make a child/family/community better for only $26.00 a month is unbelievable." --sue000
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
"My husband & I haven't been able to have children and after all of the prayers that St Jude has answered for us, I have promised to help take care of his children. St. Jude give children cancer treatment no matter what their ability to pay is." --lashail
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.
Many organizations set up special Christmas volunteer projects. A few examples:
New York Cares Holiday Volunteering | Ideas in Houston | Chicago Holiday Volunteering | Projects in the Twin Cities | Opportunities in Kansas City
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.