Youth-music charity Youngchoirs.net faces closure next September if it can't come up with a sizeable chunk of funding by Christmas.
It has already made four staff redundant and expects to lay off the chief executive in December.
Chair of trustees, Dr Bernard Trafford, said that Christmas was a first deadline. After that, the charity would have wound down so far that it would be very hard to revive it.
The Leicestershire charity, which encourages children to sing, needs £100,000 to £125,000 a year to survive and has so far secured about one-fifth of that for the period from September 2005. That sum comes from one firm, which has pledged £25,000 a year for three years, but it hinges on a "coherent rescue" being worked out.
Youngchoirs has had difficulty, both with sourcing funding and with restrictions that have been placed on the percentage that can be used for core funding, said Trafford. "The only large-scale funding we receive is entirely activity-based, linked to specific projects, and the proportion of that funding that we are permitted to allocate to core costs is simply unrealistic."
He said the charity's administration costs on each project are 40 per cent, but it is currently operating at 15 per cent.
Trust funding has slowed, and so has government match-funding, Trafford added.