Madigan says people should donate to reputable organizations that they're familiar with. She also suggests donating directly to the charity you want to receive the money.
As a rule, charitable organizations should be registered with the attorney general's office. Also, she says people should be wary of groups calling to ask for contributions.
The number of dead from Sunday's earthquake and tsunami in South Asia is now near 120,000, and officials estimate five million people lack clean water, shelter, food, sanitation and medicine.