Charity Watch and Charity Navigator compile lists of top-rated charities. The companies analyze the efficiency of each charity by looking at how much of the money donated actually goes to the cause.
Charity Watch has a statistic called "cost to raise $100," which relates how much the charity spends on fund raising against how much they raise. Charities are given letter grades by Charity watch.
Charity Navigator categorizes each charity based upon its cause, making it easy to compare the star ratings of prospective charities. Charity Navigator has an accountability section in which charities are reviewed for things such as conflicts of interest and whether it has an independent voting board.