Written by David Seo
Photo by Helena Fu
Band and orchestra hosted their first fundraiser of the year through mattress sales in tandem with Custom Fundraising Solutions (CFS). The SPHS practice gym was transformed on Saturday, August 26. into a makeshift showroom with beds and pillows set up to allow customers to examine and assess an accurate match.
Initially, much of the community (including the entire music program) was hesitant at the idea of a mattress sale as a means to collect money.
“When we first heard about the mattress fundraiser, we thought it seemed a little weird, but after it was explained to us it made a lot of sense,” junior percussionist Rebecca Hall said. “There’s a lot of people who really want to go on our spring band trip but can’t afford to pay for a 3-night stay, so any money raised would really help send more members on the trip.”
Band and orchestra originally set a goal of 7500 dollars, but only were able to raise around 2500 dollars. Although not meeting expectations, the event itself comes at no cost to SPHS and any funds help with the expenses associated with repairs for instruments and music festivals that occur throughout the year. Organizers are hopeful that after its first year in South Pasadena, the mattress fundraiser will gain momentum annually as more people are inspired to take their bed shopping local.
Behind this whole fundraiser was the team at Custom Fundraising Solutions. A core idea in the mattress market bore fruit as CFS, founded in 2005 with a mission to stir up revenue for schools. They specifically chose to work with high school music and arts programs due to widespread underfunding by schools themselves. As of August 2017, CFS has organized events in over 3000 high schools in 75 cities nationwide and have altogether raised 30 million dollars for students since its inception. With 50% of all proceeds going to schools, CFS takes care of all the digital advertising and manpower for and at the event itself asking schools only to provide a space and publicizing by word of mouth.
Although unconventional, CFS is able to sell mattresses at 30-50% off retail price by cutting out the middle man; 66% of the price a customer pays for mattresses come from the need for expensive retail space and advertising. CFS also makes each mattress to order, staying sustainable through customer-reliant sales.
“The mattress industry is definitely ripe for disruption, as it hasn’t changed in the last 100 years,” Nick Sattler said, the CFS Los Angeles regional franchise manager and organizer of the event. “In fact, right now is the age of disruption, and the heart of it lies here in Southern California.”