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raising funds

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hi all i am trying to raise funds for a special needs support group in my area which consists of parents and carers of children and young people with a variety of additional needs including Autism and Asperger’s syndrome, severe learning difficulties and mobility issues.
The group’s prime focus is providing the opportunity for much needed peer support for parents and carers.
I would like to approach buisness's for donations of items not money.we would use the items for either tombola or raffle...does anyone know of do's and donts? are there any known buisness's that would not do it(im thinking of saving time and effort and focusing my efforts more)
Also any other ideas for raising funds would be greatly recieved!
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