When you have a maaser account set up, you have to deal with it in a very judicious and wise manner. You have to view yourself as a gabbai tzedakah (charity fund manager). These are monies that are allocated to me, and I’m going to make the wisest, most intelligent decision with them. If I were given money to invest, I would look out into the marketplace and find the best sort of investment. So too with these monies in my maaser account. I’m going to find the most worthy institutions, the most worthy individuals. I’m going to deal with these monies in a very responsible way. There is a pecking order; there is a certain order by Chazal (our sages) in terms of your responsibilities of who to give maaser to. Fifty percent or more should be given to aniyim, to poor people, but certainly who amongst the aniyim to give. Certainly the remaining part, what institution to give to.
A person has to ask himself where do I think these monies will accomplish the most? What are the types of tzedakas that I want to get behind? What do I feel will buy me the most in the world to come, will help people most in this world? And if you view yourself as a gabbai tzedakah, you use the monies in your maaser account wisely, and you end up accomplishing a tremendous amount with those monies.