To many, the charity sector is the ‘third’ sector in name and pecking order. Primarily seen as a provider of relief, ‘charity’ is frequently associated with voluntarism and inefficiency. It is often viewed with suspicion by both left and right. For those leading some of our best-known charities, their perspective is very different. Our purpose in April was to explore what a stronger relationship might look like and what it could deliver for the UK. Together, we endeavoured to bring to life a vision in which charities are respected partners to government and play their full role in helping to drive reform – getting upstream of complex problems, strengthening policy, and building public support for long-term change.

A series of essays by CRG members kick started the conversation by examining different aspects of the relationship that are fundamental to reform and progress.