A campaign has been launched to ensure voluntary organisations in the north east of England survive after vital funding streams dry up in 2006.
According to the Invest 2006 campaign, voluntary and community groups in the north east will lose more than £50m a year because of changes to European and central government grant programmes.
The campaign says that that projects for children, older people and marginalised groups could be forced to close because European funding is being diverted to new EU accession countries, and the Single Regeneration Budget is coming to an end.
Campaign chairman Mike Worthington said: "Without appropriate funding there is a real threat to the essential services for our most disadvantaged communities.
"We are calling on the Government to work with us to resolve this potential crisis."
The campaign plans to press the Department for Trade and Industry to offer voluntary organisations the same help as is available for small businesses.
It is estimated that the voluntary sector employs 4.4 per cent of the workforce in the north east of England.