"There was a great response to the idea, but until you have that tax exempt status you are asking businesses and people to give large gifts," Holt said. "This gives you more bang for your buck as far as a donation. Now you know that what you contribute will be earning interest and can go further."
Robin Dean is vice president of the Foundation for Education's board of directors. She said getting the word out is what the group is focusing on now.
"There are plenty of needs out there, but we can't initially spend every dollar," she said. "Right now we primarily are trying to raise awareness before we can raise money."
The foundation developed bylaws, a mission statement and goals in order to attain nonprofit status. In addition to supporting gifted and talented programs, enrichment activities outside the classroom, arts and humanities, and scholarships were the original initiatives laid out by the foundation.
However, the objectives quickly became more ambitious.
"We started out concentrating on gifted and talented programs, but we saw that there was a lot more we could potentially do," Dean said. "As we've evolved we realized that the scope does not have to be contained to that area."
Holt believes a more comprehensive purpose will be necessary in the future.
"I would like to create a one-stop shop for the schools that is totally based on academics," Holt said. "There are ongoing initiatives like the support for gifted and talented, but there are also things we can do on an individual basis. If a teacher needs equipment or a student needs the $144 for an Advanced Placement test, we want to be able to do that."
Holt also cited a possible partnership with the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Industrial Development Authority that would help prepare students for more skilled industrial careers.
With state funding becoming more questionable by the day, making up for shortfalls could become even more imperative. The slowing economy also might make soliciting donations more of a challenge.
"This could really help make up those gaps," Holt said. "Tough financial times, but when we try and approach individuals we want to try and get a lot of people to give a little instead of a couple giving a lot."
Holt said the foundation will not start allocating money until it reaches its goal of raising $25,000.
Although donations stand at about $15,000, Holt is encouraged by the response from both the community at large and within the school system. She said 75 staff members already have signed on to make continuing contributions to the foundation.
"I am still dreaming of that first $100,000 check," Holt said. "I want this to be something that will last and something that will eventually be able to meet every need."