Grassroots Grants, a government-backed scheme which matches donations pound for pound, is due to end on March 31. It is administered locally by the Leeds Community Foundation.
All money raised in the scheme is put into the City of Leeds Endowment Fund and income is distributed annually by the Foundation to charities and community groups in deprived parts of the city.
Leeds has been given £738,973 as a target, based on the ratio of £1 per head of population. When doubled this will result in a Fund worth just under £1.5m.
Since the start of the scheme Leeds Community Foundation has managed to raise £538,000 and still has £200,000 to raise by the end of March. If the target is not met by then, the money is lost to Leeds.
Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of the Foundation, said: “The £1m endowment fund we have already built up as a result of the match funding scheme is a legacy for the future as it ensures that local community groups and charities benefit from funding over the longer term, thus helping them to deliver a sustainable difference in our more challenging communities.
“We are appealing to businesses and individuals to make a last push before the scheme expires in order to give a boost to the fund.
“Anyone who has been thinking about a charitable donation before the end of the tax year should contact us as soon as possible.
She added: “Depending on the level of tax you pay, we can at least double and in some cases quadruple the value of your donation and make it go so much further.
She said the Foundation was struggling to meet demand for grants. “With the cuts and rising unemployment the needs across Leeds are growing; we are seeing a huge rise in applications for grants which we struggle to meet.”
Leeds Community Foundation currently provides funding and support to hundreds of community groups as well as acting as a philanthropy adviser to wealthy individuals and businesses who want to give something back to the community.
Visit www.leedscommunityfoundation.org.uk or call 0113 242 2426.