Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)
I have a small amount of money which I wish to spend in charity. How can I spend it in a way which is most pleasing to the Prophet ﷺ ?
Firstly, if there is someone locally who is in dire need then giving the money to him or her will please the Prophet ﷺ the most. Then if there is a general need which is extremely pressing, such as building a mosque or digging a well, then priority should be given to this.
If there are a number of different causes and the need is equal, then priority should be given to supporting the spreading of knowledge and calling people to Allah.
If there are a number of different people whose need is equal then priority should be given to those who are more pious and closer to the Prophet ﷺ .