Charities have an obligation to provide detailed information to interested donors. Never give to a charity you know nothing about. Request written literature and a copy of the charity’s latest annual report. This should include a list of the board of directors, a mission statement and the most recent available audited financial statements with accompanying notes.
If a charity does not provide you with the information you request, you may want to think twice about giving to it. Honest charities typically encourage your interest and respond to your questions.