Ropetackle Arts Centre in West Sussex has warned it will be forced to close unless it can raise £50,000 a year for paid staff.
The venue, which hosts theatre, cinema, music and comedy, has been run by voluntary trustees since it opened 12 years ago, along with a small team of staff. It does not receive any regular subsidy.
However, the trustees have said they are looking to step back and employ more staff to run the venue, which has a 200-seat auditorium.
The arts centre has launched a fundraising campaign, which aims to raise £30,000 a year from public donations and a further £20,000 in match funding from either Adur District Council, which owns the building, or other sources.
A spokeswoman said that if Ropetackle Arts Centre cannot raise pledges for this annual amount by the end of the year, it will have to close.
Martin Allen, chairman of the Ropetackle Trust, said: “We know that Ropetackle is highly valued by the local community and our wider audiences, but to see this level of support so early on is truly gratifying.
“We are hugely grateful for what has been pledged so far, but we do need to keep up the momentum now.”
A spokesman for Adur District Council said a further £20,000 of funding is available to the centre this year, and will be released “on proof of a robust long-term financial management plan”.
He added: “We remain extremely supportive of the Ropetackle and the contribution it makes to the arts in our area.
“For that reason, we have backed [the venue] with direct and indirect funding of some £268,000 over the last 10 years.”