Neil Cleeveley, chief executive of the local infrastructure body Navca, will retire at the end of August and will be replaced by its head of member engagement.
Cleeveley has been chief executive of Navca since 2014 and has worked for the charity for a total of 14 years. He will be succeeded by Jane Ide, who has worked at the charity since September 2016. Ide has previously held senior and board-level posts in the NHS, the civil service and the private sector.
A spokesman for Navca said the role was filled internally because the board felt it had a high-calibre candidate and did not want a drawn-out recruitment process.
Ide will be paid £52,000 a year.
Navca has experienced a difficult period financially in recent years. In the year to the end of March 2016, the charity had an income of £495,855 but spent £581,050. The loss was part of a three-year plan to have a balanced budget by 2018, the charity said.
In 2012/13, Navca had an income of £2.6m, but this has fallen significantly in recent years after strategic funding from the Office for Civil Society and other one-off grants came to an end.
Caroline Schwaller, chair of Navca, said in a statement that Cleeveley’s contribution to the charity and the movement had been considerable and it wished him a long and happy retirement.
"We are delighted to have been able to appoint his successor from within our current staff, which will ensure a smooth and seamless transition for the organisation," she said. "Jane brings a range of experience from elsewhere that combines well with her recent work at Navca."
Cleeveley said in a statement: "It has been my privilege to work alongside some wonderful people here at Navca and right across our movement. Our members do amazing things in their communities, often with limited resources. They are the bedrock of social action in England and I will miss the day-to-day contact with them, but I am ready for a change."
Ide said in a statement: "I'm delighted to be taking up this opportunity and am looking forward very much to working closely with our members and our stakeholders to actively represent the interests of infrastructure across England and to support a vibrant, impactful movement for social action.
The charity said Cleeveley would work alongside Ide during a "managed transition period" until he retired on 31 August.