In some recent teaching in Sri Lanka, the idea of prioritization of dāna is described in a some sort of confusing way. Here is how some monks describe the idea of prioritization:
Scenario 1: You are walking on a street having some food with you, and you see a poor hungry guy who is about to die for not having any food for months. On the other side of the street, you see Buddha walking down the street. You might think it would rather worth giving your food to the poor guy as he might die without your food. On the other hand, if you offer your food to Buddha, it won't make much difference. You are wrong! You should still offer it to Buddha because that's what gives the most 'karma' back to you. The poor guy, on the other hand, is that poor because of the negative karma he earnt over the glitches he made in the past.
Scenario 2: One might worship a Bodhi tree offering some milk (primarily by pouring milk water on its roots). Another guy might use the same amount of milk to feed the hunger. The second guy seems right in the eye of common sense, but as in Buddhism, the first guy is the one who is right because he receives a better 'karma'.
These explanations don't look anyway right to me. Since the core of karma is all about what we think, how we perceive, and how we feel, how does the above laid down idea fits in that? If I had to offer my food to Buddha letting the poor guy die in hunger, I won't feel any good. So how come this be a "better karma"? Based on the second scenario, many people here in Sri Lanka use and exhaust lots of resources just for material offering (amisa puja) while there are many people who are suffering for the lack of the same resources.
I personally believe that we should not offer things out for the prime reason exchanging it with karma. I donate and offer things because I like the idea that other people getting a better life because of what I do. If karma applies, okay, let's it apply whatever way it should be. However, the problem with the above idea of prioritization is it will lead many people to exhaust resources for things that doesn't contribute to the world. If above prioritization sounds right to you, or if you believe that it was something that was mentioned somewhere in official Theravada scriptures, where was that written? On the other hand, what concept in Abhidhamma supports that idea?