To Gain and to Give: Hilchot Tzedakah, Day 3

The greatest fulfillment of the mitzvah of tzedakah is to prevent a fellow Jew from becoming financially needy and dependent on others in the first place. One fulfills this mitzvah no matter how this is accomplished, whether by providing another with employment, lending them money, giving a gift, or any other way. 

שו"ע ס' רמט ס"ו