I have a group of special needs kids that received some disposable cameras as a donation. Now I have the expense of getting them developed. The cameras have 27 exposures. I was hoping to find a school that would donate their kids and learning experience, but haven't so far. Do you have any ideas for me?
I would image most schools are only set up to do black and white photography, as it is easier and less expensive (or was when I was doing it) Finding a school that can process color photos (I assume yours are color film) is probably a long shot.
You could ask a printing business (or Walmart etc) if they can do a special rate for you.
You can also just develop the negatives and ask for a contact sheet like below, which contains a small print of each picture, all on one page. Costs will vary, but you might save half the cost over getting prints of the 27 shots.
Then if you want regular prints made - prints will I think be cheaper if you get 30 copies of one shot, rather then 30 individual shots from different rolls. If they took all the shots at the same time and place, maybe you could pick out a representative set and print out a few for everyone (but do check the cost of doing that vs just getting the rolls all developed and printed in the first place or you may end up adding work for yourself and not saving much money).
It would depend on the area you're living in, but it might be possible to get local business support for the processing -- especially if they can earn a bit of public goodwill out of the deal. A feel-good blurb in the community events section of the paper can go a long way towards gaining a good reputation and customers. If you still have a local photo finisher, they might be willing to work at cost even if they can't afford to cover the whole thing out of pocket -- especially if they can get some goodwill out of the deal too. (And you can always try the Walmart angle -- I'm sure they'd like to undo some of the damage Robin Williams did to the blue-vested photo department.)
You can shop it around to your friendly neighborhood service clubs and organizations as well -- you know, the Lions, Moose, Elks, Kiwanis, and that sort. They usually have a pet charity (I know that the Elks in my area were all about deaf issues when I was growing up), but you never know.