If you donate to charities, you want to be certain that the money or goods you give are used the way that you expect them to be used. If you contribute to organizations with which you are familiar, or if you donate to organizations recommended by friends, you have a pretty good idea about how the funds are used.
There are a lot of ways to find out about charitable organizations. A few links are listed below. If you are concerned about tax deductibility, you will want to make sure that the charity is listed with the IRS. This can be found in either Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations described in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code or by using Exempt Organizations Select Check.
Another way to review charities is by using a service such as Guidestar or Charity Navigator. If you want to get into the details of the organization you can read the annual filings, the Form 990, or 990N. The 990EZ is a postcard type filing used by small not-for-profits that does not contain much information. Form 990s are public documents, and you can get them from the charity or from a service such as Guidestar.
The following links may be helpful for you.