The fundraising campaign of the deeply troubled Mission SF FCU of San Francisco to avoid a collapse or merger picked up again last week with new appeals by CU management to meet a new $200,000 capital goal by March 15.

The $6.7 million community development CU said so far it has raised $40,000 toward its capital target and that the NCUA has given it several waivers to continue the effort to stave off a merger or liquidation.

Leaders of the embattled CU said it may still choose a merger as suggested by the NCUA if it is unable to meet the initial $100,000 goal set for Feb. 15 followed by an additional $100,000 needed by March 15.

Margaret Libby, a director of Mission and head of a CU-managed financial services agency, said her CU, which serves a low-income Latino member base suffering because of the sluggish economy, said the NCUA “has already extended deadlines for us and we are grateful for that.”

Mission began soliciting donations from industry groups in December with several large CUs contributing increments as high as $8,500. However, the Mission venture has also come in for criticism from some California CEOs charging that a CU with ill-founded lending policies should not be rewarded.

In a press release issued Jan. 24 by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, Mission acknowledged it is appealing for help to avoid a merger and that it is one of two independent CDCUs remaining in California serving a predominately Latino community.

In forestalling a merger, Mission SF said it seeks “to offer the vital and unique services it has provided to its members and the community for over 40 years.”

Libby said the $40,000 raised to date comes from about a dozen both large and small CUs with some contributions in the $500 range. Any contributions raised now can be added to a $20,000 request submitted by Mission to the NCUA for secondary capital, which can be advanced to the initial $100,000 goal for Feb.15, she said.

The release quoting the CU chairman, Leslie Chard, noted also that Mission “has a critical role to play in the Mission District’s recovery from the hardest and longest economic downturn in our lifetimes.”

Through loans, financial counseling, youth services, microloans for business, personal loans and auto loans, Chard said the CU “offers a menu of services that can help bring new hope and opportunities for prosperity and cooperation,” adding that the CU “needs an angel, someone who believes in what we are doing.”