The research centre on giving and philanthropy was due to open this summer, but the tendering process to find a consortium to run it is now expected to last until the end of the year.
Diana Leat, director of the creative philanthropy programme at Carnegie UK Trust, a co-funder of the centre, said the steering group overseeing the tendering process needed more time.
"The group will meet again on 18 May to consider a final draft of the request-for-tender document, and I hope it will also finalise the centre's governance structure at that meeting," she said.
"The group will be in a position to make a decision about which organisation will be awarded the contract by the end of this year."
The Office of the Third Sector, the Scottish Executive and the Economic and Social Research Council are also providing funding. "It is worth taking time to get it absolutely right," said a Cabinet Office spokesman.