With all the hype surrounding ALS, you’ve probably either completed the viral Ice Bucket Challenge or have at least been nominated. But now that it’s clear that the ALS Association has received more donations than ever before, you might begin wondering: What exactly will the charity do with that money?

Donations are inherently selfless acts; giving away your money is a deed that aims to better the world in some way. Of course, the Ice Bucket Challenge is for a good cause. But before you donate blindly to the ALS Association — or any charity, for that matter — because of an Internet meme, it’s important to be informed about which charities are the most effective and which ones use a large portion of your money to pay their employees’ salaries.

The infographic below shows the difference between where we donate our money and which diseases actually take the most lives in the U.S. Vox, the creator of the infographic, used 2011 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to point out that the largest amount of donations go toward breast cancer ($257.85 million), but only about 41,374 people die from breast cancer yearly. Heart disease, on the other hand, kills about 596,577 people in the U.S. every year — and that only receives $54.1 million in donations. Seeing the vast difference visually perhaps helps illustrate the gap better:

infographic Though most of American donations go towards breast cancer, heart disease remains the biggest killer. Vox

At the end of the day, donating is a personal choice, and it’s ultimately up to you where to send your money. Choosing to donate to breast cancer research instead of heart disease because you personally had ties to someone who died of the former is just as noble. But for those who wish to become more knowledgeable about donating, there are watchdog organizations that rate which charities are most legitimate, such as Charity Watch. To be a more proactive and informed donor, who knows exactly where her money is going to, start out by reading Charity Navigator tips.