You know you can check here for info about the reliability of charities that exclusively operate in the Kansas City metro.
Our partner, the BBB's Wise Giving Alliance (WGA) is a fantastic source for info on national charities that work hard to serve people all over our country. Many of the large charities that you know - Alzheimer's Association, Children International, United Way of America, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, etc. have been reviewed and evaluated by the WGA.
WGA is nationally recognized for its expertise in assessing charity accountability. And here in Kansas City, we often rely on them for help with our own evaluation efforts. They are a great organization to have on your side.