No I wouldn't ask for a donation and personally I would only give money if it bought my child a specific item, such as a folder for GCSE. We regularly appeal for donations of materials from parents who work for companies which may have plenty of off-cuts... we have had various degrees of success, but some surprisingly great stuff ranging from large sheets of glass and tin to fabrics, pallettes of cards and papers and boxes of buttons and ribbon. It's worth asking local businesses too. B&Q are sometimes quite good I believe- think they have an online scheme that schools can sign up to? Lottes.