Give to an Established Charity
There are a number of Web sites you can visit to research legitimate organizations, including:
Designate Your Gift
Don't be afraid to be assertive and have your donation earmarked.
Avoid Telemarketers The easiest way to get scammed is to pledge money over the phone. You can get a number from the telemarketer and call the company back. But Stamp recommends just hanging up, because most reputable charities don't use telemarketers, and callers can receive a hefty chunk of your donation.
Research and Follow Up
Be sure to follow up with the charity in a few months to find out how your donation was put to use and if they need additional support to complete the recovery efforts. Think of it as checking up on your investments. Stamp said good charities want to brag, so they will happily answer your questions.
Story published on ABCNews.com