In the Jerusalem Talmud when the word mitzvah is mentioned it refers to tzedakah. The Talmud in Bava Basra page 9a teaches that tzedakah is equal to all the other mitzvot combined.
The power of tzedakah is self transcendence. To give away that which can be used for your own food and shelter and basic needs for another is to put yourself aside. Even if this money is not needed for your basic needs the money means so much to a person to the point that in the United States we ask how much a person is worth and we refer to dollars!
Every mitzvah connects us to Hashem and through tzedakah we are connected to G-d holistically.
Mendel (Menachem) Bluming based on Tanya