The Vetting Process
Charity Navigator ranks charities according to a criteria of dollars to cause ratio, non-sharing of donor info, and more. If you register with them, they'll keep track of all your favorite charities and provide a portal to donate in one convenient place. They do not vet the people who run the charities. About the tool that makes it very easy to donate to various groups by placing your donations in a checkout basket, the downside is that service costs you and takes it away from your donation amount. It's not much, but still, you may want to donate directly. Though even then, credit cards will charge the group. Go to this article at NerdWallet to find out more. For example, a charitable donation using a Visa card will carry a fee of 10 cents plus 1.35% of the amount of the transaction, so add this in your calculations or write a check.
Give Well. These guys find charities that they make the most difference and have ROI on dollars spent to lives saved and disease eradicated. Their #1 is Against Malaria. They are listed on the Charities page.
GuideStar gathers, organizes, and distributes information about U.S nonprofits.