Administrative Inefficiency


Danny's Story...

While studying for his Master's at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, Danny consulted for an Illinois township to get a taste for how local government works.  

Though the township was dedicated to serving its community, Danny found that it was plagued by inefficiency and bureaucratic waste.  

For example, every township runs a program called "General Assistance". Mandated by Illinois, General Assistance aids low-income families in the community. When Danny took a closer look at the numbers, he was shocked to find that in this township, 70% of General Assistance funding was lost to administration costs.  

Even with the best intentions, forcing families through an endless slog of paperwork proved more costly than providing the assistance itself!

Knowing there was a better way, Danny discussed the topic endlessly with his long-suffering classmates. Soon, he found himself talking to Jordan and Lori, who had already begun to think about what cash transfers could do.  With some quick financial models, they realized that at any reasonable scale, they could eliminate most administrative cost and pass through more than 90% of donor's money to families in need.

With three different backgrounds, and three different motivations, Jordan, Lori, and Danny united over the promise of cash transfers. Direct Giving Lab was born.