New Fundraising Company Emerges From Economic Slump

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Samaritan Fundraising experiences immediate success despite recession, serving the fundraising needs of churches and similar non-profit organizations. As fundraising needs mount, this start-up company meets an expanding need and plans for explosive growth.

and I admit the current business environment isn't start-up friendly.

Times are tough for entrepreneurs, so when Tom Freiling tells friends he quit his job to start a new venture called Samaritan Fundraising, they either laugh or cry. "I get furry eyebrows when I tell people," he says, "and I admit the current business environment isn't start-up friendly."

But when Freiling sees a need, he can't but help himself. His last start-up, an online book publisher he started in his basement in 2001, grew into a multi-million dollar company which he eventually sold to a NASDAQ-listed communications company.

His new mission: Help churches and similar religious organizations raise money. Call him foolhardy or call him brave, Freiling is determined to skip this recession by helping meet the needs of the faithful.

Samaritan Fundraising (, which is currently self-funded, recently opened operations in Orlando, Florida, and in Fairfax, Virginia. He and his staff are already planning fundraising campaigns nationwide, and his customers are welcoming him with open arms.

"Church giving is down in every area," he says. "General giving is down, as well as giving for missions and special projects. Giving was reportedly down between $3 billion and $5 billion last year, and The Barna Group says "one out of every five households has decreased its giving to churches or other religious centers." "This makes it especially difficult for churches," says Freiling, "because during a recession people turn to them for help."

Samaritan Fundraising plans to offer a myriad of innovative fundraising products and services to help bridge the gap. It's premier product, the Samaritan Card, is a shopping discount card his fundraising customers sell to donors who want to save money when they shop. Freiling says the product "leverages the need for retailers to attract more customers, and the need for consumers to save money."

The company plans to leverage the Internet and social networking sites to ramp-up revenue, and is also looking for part-time fundraising consultants in major metropolitan areas nationwide. Freiling reports his company already receives dozens of inquiries daily while web traffic to his site doubles every week.

Not all companies experience hardship during a recession, and some of today's biggest brands including CNN, Hewlett-Packard, and Burger King, all began to operate during the toughest of economic times. Freiling hopes his new company, Samaritan Fundraising, will someday join their ranks.


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Thomas Freiling

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