My friend Sarah just shaved her head for children’s cancer research.

But before I contributed my dollars—and she contributed her beautiful locks—I made sure to check in with

The nonprofit organization provides free analysis of every major U.S. charity.

It shows a detailed breakdown of how much money goes to a group’s intended beneficiaries… versus how much gets channeled to other ends, like executives’ salaries.

In this case, the children’s cancer research organization just missed out on a perfect 4-star rating (it scored 89.70 out of 100; 90 is the cutoff to earn four out of four stars). So Sarah and I both knew our contributions were worthwhile.

CharityNavigator helped me make an easy, informed decision in less than two minutes. Use the site before you make another charitable donation.