The local infrastructure body Navca made a loss of £121,000 last year, its latest accounts show.
The membership organisation, which supports local infrastructure bodies such as councils for voluntary service, said the deficit came in the first of three years in which it expected to make losses under plans to have a balanced budget by 2018.
The accounts show the charity had an income of £495,855 and expenditure of £581,050 in the year to the end of March 2016.
It also recorded a net loss of £36,079 on its investments, making a net loss of £121,274, compared with £304,902 in the previous 12 months.
The umbrella body said its trustees had planned to underwrite deficits between 2015/16 and 2017/18 so it could continue to deliver its objectives "in a climate of unprecedented austerity".
Navca’s income, which was £2.6m in 2012/13, has fallen in recent years because strategic funding from the Office for Civil Society and other one-off grants came to an end.
Neil Cleeveley, chief executive of Navca, said: "We are working against a difficult backdrop, but in these uncertain times we must be bold in asserting the values of our movement; not least, that local infrastructure is at the heart of local social action."