I am using Parami: Ways to Cross Life’s Floods, by Ajahn Sucitto as my reference on the paramis. At the beginning of his discussion of dana he has this to say.
“In general, the Buddha taught people in accordance with their own way of life and understanding, and often began by pointing to three powerful and transcending inclinations of mind: generosity (dana); virtue, morality or ethical sensitivity (sila); and renunciation, the ability to let go of the pull towards a sense object (nekkhamma). It was when a person had contacted these inclinations in himself or herself and felt confident in their validity that the Buddha would then explain the meaning of the Four Noble Truths – his analysis of why we experience stress, inner pain or dissatisfaction (dukkha) and how we can be free of it. The establishment of generosity, morality and renunciation through wise reflection is then to be understood as a necessary foundation for the teachings on full liberation.”