The Big Lottery Fund's new round of programmes for 2006-2009 could favour local charities at the expense of national organisations.
The warning was made by Luke FitzHerbert, senior researcher at the Directory of Social Change, at a conference held by the organisation last week.
He was referring to the new BLF booklet outlining its forthcoming programmes, which he said showed a bias towards local community groups. He expressed concern that the programmes could be used to fill gaps in government spending on health and training.
However, FitzHerbert defended the BLF against a Commons public accounts committee report that £2.4bn of lottery money is sitting idly in the bank.
"Absolute nonsense," he said. "All of that money has already been committed."