A starting point is to become educated.
Spending time researching, planning, analysing and mapping is necessary. Evidence-based funding, rather than funding based only on a “gut feel”, a relationship, or a desire, will have a better outcome and be a more strategic investment. Consequently, the philanthropist requires up-to-date knowledge and should perform the necessary due diligence on all proposals and projects.
Once the philanthropists have gained some generalist knowledge of the area she wishes to support, then some time spent thinking about her role in the sector as against her strategy would be helpful to understand exactly what role she could best play.