I recently began a gaming club in the High School I work in. I had about 30 students for the first meeting. I asked them what games they know. The majority said Monopoly and Risk. I really want to increase their exposure to better and more advanced games. I have been bringing in some games I own but I would really like to create a classroom collection. I work in a title 1 district which means most of these kids and the school itself is limited in resources. Okay here is my pitch... does anyone have any old game they no longer play and would be willing to donate? My students and I would greatly appreciate any games. Just send me a PM if interested.
1) Contact the game manufacturers/publishers. Occasionally they can issue out a demo copy (which is the full blown version of the game with a "Demo-not for resale" sticker on it. This helps them get exposure to their games and a write off, while you and the students get a game to enjoy.
2) Check out local thrift stores. Occasionally you can find good gateway games such as Settlers of Catan or Carcasonne for as little as $2-3.
3) Check out local game stores and conventions. They sometimes get boxes or games that are damaged and they either add to their in store demos or discount rack. If they donate it to the school they might be able to write off the full amount for tax purposes, and they should never underestimate the spending power of high school gamers.