Depends on the charity - depends on the state, country, etc, in some countries, a charity can be considered legit if it gives AT MINIMUM 1%. Unfortunately this is an industry that is abused as majority of the time a tiny percentage of proceeds go to the actual cause, which is quite DISGUSTING !!! The rest is spent on advertising campaigns to lure the unsuspected, administration, fees, expenses and some able bodied con artists pockets. Religious charities and the likes are an example of abuse, and it is constantly being reported in the news, where you see those religious folks own mansions, cars, and live a great lifestyles from those proceeds - they even have religious infomercials now, preachers, etc, a crooked, trillion $ industry! Charities that focus on feeding hungry kids world wide, showing show pictures and videos on TV to lure you, but in reality only a fraction goes to the cause, not f*cking good enough. This is not to say that ALL charities are rubbish, but many are. It's always best to volunteer on your own, do good deeds and give directly to places you are sure about, which provide a full report of where your money goes and one that is reputable and trusted.
For example here we have charities sponsored by firemen, as well as other organizations that raise funds to help feed families for holidays, provide shelter, food, etc, those are known here and legit, but even with good efforts of those organizations, it is too little, and not enough to solve the problem of poverty. Charity is definitely a billion $ industry that is full of crooked criminals.
Governments is the best example, you are donating your well earned money on a daily basis, in fact, 6 months out of 12 you are donating your money for it to be wasted and spent on crooked governments so they can travel, remodel, their homes and live lavish lifestyles whilst securing their hefty retirements for themselves and their families.
As far as donations to the health and research industry, this is the biggest bloody SCAM - because big pharmas represent a trillion $ industry and their aim is to block progress and block research and some of these research facilities are complicit in this fraudulent scheme, so your donations are only going into some able bodied con artist.
We are in 2018 for F sake, and do we have a cure for cancer ? a cure for aids ? a cure for diabetes ? NO !!!!
World poverty is increasing at alarming rates, whilst there are trillions of $ circulating going to corporations and the crooks who run them.