The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has launched a test version of a new website designed to explain to the public how charities operate.
The site, howcharitieswork.com, sets out to explain such issues as how charities raise and spend money, how they are regulated and how people can get involved in volunteering or starting a charity.
It also has sections answering questions such as "Have charities got too big?" and addresses the issue of whether there are too many charities.
A spokesman for the NCVO said the site had been launched as a test version to get feedback and ideas from the voluntary sector before it was promoted to the public.
He said the site would be a resource for people who were looking for information about charities because if they searched the internet for questions about how charities were run the results tended to be skewed articles or items that were aimed at people working in the sector.
He said the content on the site had been drawn up by the NCVO, but the messages had been developed with the consultancy Britain Thinks through focus group work to determine how best to explain issues in the sector to the public.
"This isn't about winning around determined critics or people who were never going to be happy, but providing some accessible information for people who have reasonable questions," the NCVO spokesman said.
"It's an important part of showing we are interested in helping the public understand how we work."
He said that once the voluntary sector was happy with the site the NCVO would do more work to promote it online, probably at the end of January.
To give your views on the site, click here.