Lisa mentioned worrying about giving money to a charity that can be trusted and I admitted that my skeptical nature lends me to the same kind of distrust. I found a website called Charity Navigator which has helped with that concern. There are others out there like it, this one just happened to be the first one I found. I really like how they break down the organizational efficiency by program costs (what actually goes to help the poor), administrative expenses, fund raising expenses and fund raising efficiency. That's the kind of math my brain likes to have spelled out for it. For example, Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, which was founded by a group of lay Catholics in the 1980's, donates 94.6% of it's raised funds to the people who need it and the programs they use. They get a four star rating.
One other feature I find helpful is the Leadership info (scroll down a little). In most cases, you can see how much the CEO is compensated and even other salaries of note. It just makes sense to me that if a company was really all about helping the poor, then the controlling officers wouldn't be raking in the big bucks (and everyone can decide for themselves what "the big bucks" look like).
Anyway, just wanted to share and if you know of any other websites like this one, please let me know!