Senior man walking on the suspension bridge

How to get grant funding to those most in need

In this first episode of the Granting the Future podcast, Steve Fussell, previously Chief Administrator at Seminole County Government in Florida, discusses the challenge of reaching those most in need.

One of the biggest challenges in grant management is that the most critical targets of funding are hard-to-reach people in hard-to-reach places. This issue was particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, which put families and businesses under huge financial pressure. Governments and public sector agencies responded swiftly with aid packages but were concerned that the funds might not always reach those most in need.

In the first episode of the series, our host Tim Smith leads a discussion on efficient grant allocation with Steve Fussell, who was Chief Administrator, Office of Organizational Excellence, Seminole County Government in Florida, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Amy Fenstermacher, EY Americas Grants and Relief Funds Management Leader.

In an unprecedented, hectic time, grant administrators needed to be agile, adjusting to changing demands and contexts. Transparency was a key goal to keep track of the flow of funds. Thanks to the heroic efforts of the Seminole County grants team, tens of millions of dollars of funding were successfully sent to individuals, families and small businesses, helping to keep them afloat.

Now, we look back at what we learned from this unique time, applying these lessons to the future of grant making.

The series is also available to listen to on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and Podbean.

Key takeaways: 

  • It’s vital to have full visibility over the funds at every stage to prove how money is spent, uncover any blockage points and measure the ultimate impact.
  • Automation can speed up the number crunching and free up overworked staff to work directly with recipients.
  • An effective mobile app makes it much easier for people to interact with grant makers.
  • Partnering with other, similar organizations can help share leading practices and work toward a standardized system to maximize efficiency.

For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available. Read the transcript.


Episode 1

Duration 14m 58s

In this series

Series overview
(Event List - Manual)

How grant administrators can get the best outcome from their funds

In this second episode of the Granting the Future podcast, Michael Cooper, UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, discusses how to achieve maximum impact in a complex granting environment.

Episode 2

14m 55s


Matt Wilson

EY EMEIA Grants and Relief Funds Management Leader

How grants can deliver impact in complex and changing environments

In this third episode of the Granting the Future podcast, the UN’s Pradeep Kurukulasuriya discusses how to manage nearly US$5 billion worth of complex grant programs to achieve maximum impact.

Episode 3

16m 15s


Maryam Hussain

EY Global Fraud & Corruption Investigator

Simon Inglis

Partner, Managed Services, Ernst & Young LLP

How to use technology to broaden access and measure the impact of grants

In this fourth episode Andrea Sampanis, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, shares how to harness technology to improve access to grant funding and measure impact.

Episode 4

19m 02s