I teach at a school that also has a very limited budget for the arts.
During Open House, I display a large tree shape with leaves, apples,
etc. on it. I call this the "Giving Tree". I ask the parents that if
they would be willing, to please take a leaf or apple etc., from the
tree and donate to the art room. You would be amazed as to the
response. I collect anything from ziplock bags to tempera paint to
cash donations. This has really helped the art fund and the parents
enjoy donating money to something specific.