Many people want to donate to help with flood relief efforts in North Carolina, but do your homework. There are crooks out there who want to use your generosity as a weakness to rip you off.

Charity Navigator says give to an established charity. They have the infrastructure and knowledge to maximize your gift.

Designate your investment. Tell them your money must go to the Matthew relief effort - not some other operation of the charity.

Avoid giving to telemarketers or through e-mail. Instead ask the charities to send you written information in the mail.

Finally, don't send supplies. Charities normally have deals to get products like water and clothes at deep discounts. So it's better to give your money and let them make the purchases.