92% of Americans embrace Christianity. Almost two-thirds of Americans consider religion to be very important in their lives. There are over 400,000 protestant churches alone. As a church development company, Kingdom Ventures' goal is to touch at least 75,000 churches - or literally tens of millions of Christians -- within the next two years.
This network of churches, and their millions of active members, could represent a great opportunity for Christian merchants. Christian retailing is a $6 billion industry, but this number includes only the religious and inspirational products sold. It does NOT take into account the hundreds of billions of dollars Christians spend on everyday goods and services.
"Our Christian Merchants initiative aims at providing approved companies with easy access to millions of Christians. To facilitate this, we are launching our Christian Merchants initiative, our private-label program for churches and participating approved companies," says Gene Jackson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kingdom Ventures, Inc.
This is how the program works: companies wanting to participate in the program will be subject to a quick review and approval process to determine their suitability as Christian merchants. In order to qualify, merchants will also have to extend a 10-20% discount on their products.
If approved, merchants can showcase their products in the new Kingdom Catalog, a private label direct mail catalog that Kingdom Ventures will put together for participating churches. Their products will also be sold through Kingdom's media properties, including one of the most popular Christian web portals, iExalt.com. Potentially as much as 10% of all purchases made through Kingdom Ventures will be donated back to the church. And, since the consumer initiated the purchase, he or she should pocket the tax deduction with a qualified contribution.
"We want to build our Christian Merchants initiative to become the ultimate Christian affinity group program in the U.S. Through our media properties, merchants will be able to gain access to a wealthy, highly committed affinity group, potentially boosting their revenues significantly. For church members, this is a great way to support their favorite church without having to spend any additional money. Just by redirecting their everyday purchases, they can now receive tax benefits and know that they are making an incredible difference. Personally, I would feel much better buying clothes, gas or computers, knowing that they help increase the church's positive influence in our country. In fact, the items purchased could remind us of our relationship with God," says Jackson.
The Christian Merchants initiative could become a powerful new profit center for Kingdom Ventures as well. Even though the participation in the program is free for companies, churches and people alike, Kingdom Ventures will charge a small fee for each purchase for administering and developing the program.
Kingdom Ventures helps faith-based organizations streamline their operations, raise additional money through various fund-raising activities or simply provide technological solutions that transform small and medium-sized churches into state-of-the-art presentation centers. The company helps churches focus on their core mission -- reaching people for God -- by focusing on its core business: helping churches and their people grow.
There are approximately 400,000 Protestant churches in the U.S. alone. 94% of them have fewer than 1,000 active members, and therefore limited financial resources to effectively manage the business side of their operations. Christian organizations' total budgets are measured in billions of dollars. 89% of American households give to charities an average of $1,600+ a year, and religious organizations receive 60% of it. In addition, religious and inspirational products are selling at a pace of $5.6 billion annually (source: Christian Retailing Magazine).
Within less than three years, Kingdom Ventures has built a distribution network for Christian products, consisting of 2,100+ retail stores; 1,200 Christian bookstores and 900 gift stores. It has also established strong business relationships with hundreds of Christian organizations and performed over 750 fundraising events -- helping churches and other Christian organizations grow.
All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release are ``forward-looking statements.'' The forward-looking statements, including statements about the company's future expectations, including future revenues and earnings, and all other forward-looking statements (i.e., future operational results and sales) are subject to assumptions and beliefs based on current information known to the company and factors that are subject to uncertainties, risk and other influences, which are outside the company's control, and may yield results differing materially from those anticipated.