In a survey by Louisiana State University researchers, state residents were asked to rate the effectiveness of hurricane-recovery organizations on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being very effective. Church relief groups got the highest mark of 8.1. Next were nonprofits, the Salvation Army, and local community organizations, at 7.5. The Red Cross scored 7.4. Governments ranked lowest with Louisiana residents, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 5.3, the federal government at 5.1, and state and local governments at 4.6.
The real problem with government “charity” is that government takes a “one size fits all” approach to the problem of poverty. That, really, is all a bureaucracy can do.
A paper recently criticized charities (and the charitable tax deduction) for increasing inequalities between rich and poor. The numbers quoted above show who's more effective in helping the poor.