The Connecting Policy with Practice programme is an innovative partnership between the Institute for Government and the Big Lottery Fund. It brings together policy makers with people who deliver services in the voluntary sector. This comes at a time when government is trying to open out the way it makes policy and when the voluntary sector is playing its part in maximising support for its clients through the period of austerity. This report is a summary of insights from the first year of the programme. It identifies fundamental disconnects between policy and practice, and makes the case for more dialogue between policy makers and the voluntary sector.