If you are planning to donate in support of Hurricane Sandy victims, make sure to donate smart by giving to an established charity and not a new organization, no matter how good they sound. Here are some pointed from The Huffington Post:
Find a charity with a proven track record of success with dealing with the type of disaster and in the region in which the disaster occurred. Avoid fly-by-night charities created specifically to deal with the new crisis. Even well-meaning new organizations will not have the infrastructure and knowledge of the region to efficiently maximize your gift.
In addition, avoid telemarketers. Be wary of fundraisers who pressure you to make a contribution over the phone. Never divulge your credit card information to someone soliciting you via the phone. Instead, ask the fundraiser to send you written information about the charity they represent and do some research on your own. Once you feel comfortable with the charity, send the organization a check directly in the mail, or give through their website, thus ensuring 100% of your gift goes to the charity and not the for-profit fundraiser. And, of course, be careful that you are donating to a legitimate web site and not a phishing operation run by criminals - fakes are already up on the web.
You can catch other pointers here:
Here are some established charities to consider:
American Red Cross (No longer recommended due to complaints about slow response in New York City and other key areas).
ASPCA American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Direct Relief International