Back in the late 80s, early 90s, i worked in the charity industry. I worked for a homeless families shelter. Yes, i was paid, it was, after all, my job. But the organization funded the shelter entirely out of funds from other organizations (the largest charitable trust fund in that city, the largest private family services organization in that city, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Catholic and Lutheran Social Services), and then used the shelter as advertising to attract donations, which they then shipped off to the national organization in order to burnish the credentials of the local director.
Exactly zero percent of any donations to that organization went to the family shelter, which proved to be a cash cow--even our salaries were paid by a joint grant from the trust fund and FEMA. When the United Way scandal broke, i was not in the least surprised. The response of people all over the country to donate locally, and donate directly to the organizations which they wished to support was a sensible reaction, and a wonderful way to deal with the problem. However, i suspect that now, however many years down the road, the lesson is forgotten.
Anyone can support reputable organizations without going through charitable clearing houses. The only real problem i see is funding research. That would require the would-be donor to do some work to find out how they can contribute directly to research foundations, rather than going through Komen.