There's an interesting article on charities which can be found, of all places, on the BBC's website. The most interesting point is one made by Zambian-born economist Dambisa Moyo. "Moyo argues that aid harms the countries it tries to help and should be replaced by business investment."
The article is a welcome attack on the kind of charities driven by guilt and pity. Nobody has ever been helped by guilt and pity. We need to learn to feel less, and think more. That way we might actually do some good.