The German Village Society will not launch a capital campaign in 2012, opting instead to look for ways to bolster the general fund with money for targeted projects.

The German Village Society will not launch a capital campaign in 2012, opting instead to look for ways to bolster the general fund with money for targeted projects.

Mike Yarbrough, chairman of the society's development committee, said a capital campaign would somewhat hamstring the GVS on how it can spend the money instead of giving the organization latitude on initiating new programs.

A year ago, a nine-member planning group recommended that the German Village Society board of trustees initiate a capital campaign similar to one that began in 1990. The society raised $900,000 over a five-year period, which supported the implementation of the Schiller Park master plan and restoration of the Meeting Haus.

"We've really just evolved," Yarbrough said. "It's not like we're saying no to their recommendation, we're just trying to build on that: How can we capture the generosity of the members?"

Yarbrough said many things have changed since the panel made its recommendation, primarily the hiring of director Shiloh Todorov and renewed focus on the society's mission: historic preservation and education.

With her direction, the GVS will seek funds for specific programming needs, he said.

"I think you are going to see some general fundraising going on in the community," he said. "When I hear 'capital campaign,' I think bricks and mortar or specific, defined goals."

General-fund money gives the society more latitude on how to spend it, while designated funds must be spent on specific projects, he said.

For example, there is talk of re-establishing tours of German Village, something that would cost money through promotional materials and manpower, Yarbrough said.

"We want to explain to the donors why we need the money and what things that Shiloh, the staff and volunteers would like to do with it," he said.

Janet Druen, who was on the panel that recommended the capital campaign, said she understands Yarbrough's position.

"I think that to do a capital campaign is premature," Druen said. "And I think the direction of the development committee right now is focused on specific projects, and the projects hopefully will generate revenue for the community, as well as the mission of the society."