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After 10 years Amazon Finds Charity Non Impactful, Ends AmazonSmile Program in February

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For those unaware, Amazon had a program that would donate .5% of your purchase to a charity of your choice. The thing is you had to go to smile.amazon.com rather than the normal site for your purchase to be donated so you have to remember to go to the right site. Looks like they're ending it on February 20.



In 2013, we launched AmazonSmile to make it easier for customers to support their favorite charities. However, after almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped. With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.


We are writing to let you know that we plan to wind down AmazonSmile by February 20, 2023. We will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where we’ve seen we can make meaningful change—from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities to using our logistics infrastructure and technology to assist broad communities impacted by natural disasters.


To help charities that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program with this transition, we will be providing them with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program, and they will also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes in February. Once AmazonSmile closes, charities will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.


As a company, we will continue supporting a wide range of other programs that help thousands of charities and communities across the U.S. For instance:


  • Housing Equity Fund: We’re investing $2 billion to build and preserve affordable housing in our hometown communities. In just two years, we’ve provided funding to create more than 14,000 affordable homes—and we expect to build at least 6,000 more in the coming months. These units will host more than 18,000 moderate- to low-income families, many of them with children. In one year alone, our investments have been able to increase the affordable housing stock in communities like Bellevue, Washington and Arlington, Virginia by at least 20%.


  • Amazon Future Engineer: We’ve funded computer science curriculum for more than 600,000 students across over 5,000 schools—all in underserved communities. We have plans to reach an additional 1 million students this year. We’ve also provided immediate assistance to 55,000 students in our hometown communities by giving them warm clothes for the winter, food, and school supplies.
  • Community Delivery Program: We’ve partnered with food banks in 35 U.S. cities to deliver more than 23 million meals, using our logistics infrastructure to help families in need access healthy food – and we plan to deliver 12 million more meals this year alone. In addition to our delivery services, we’ve also donated 30 million meals in communities across the country.


  • Amazon Disaster Relief: We’re using our logistics capabilities, inventory, and cloud technology to provide fast aid to communities affected by natural disasters. For example, we’ve created a Disaster Relief Hub in Atlanta with more than 1 million relief items ready for deployment, our Disaster Relief team has responded to more than 95 natural disasters, and we’ve donated more than 20 million relief products to nonprofits assisting communities on the ground.


  • Community Giving: We support hundreds of local nonprofits doing meaningful work in cities where our employees and their families live. For example, each year we donate hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations working to build stronger communities, from youth sport leagues, to local community colleges, to shelters for families experiencing homelessness.


We’ll continue working to make a difference in many ways, and our long-term commitment to our communities remains the same—we’re determined to do every day better for our customers, our employees, and the world at large.


Thank you for being an Amazon customer.


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The real answer to why they are shutting it down is they figured out there were better mechanisms for tax avoidance than this, and the publicity and customer engagement on Amazon.com wasn’t enough to make it worth it either.

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3 hours ago, sblfilms said:

The real answer to why they are shutting it down is they figured out there were better mechanisms for tax avoidance than this, and the publicity and customer engagement on Amazon.com wasn’t enough to make it worth it either.


From a reddit thread:



I used to work at Amazon, and was a founding member of the AmazonSmile program, part of the Charity Support team working with the nonprofits to help them actually receive the funds. This was 2013. Left in 2016 after fully fleshing out the program, developed the metrics reporting system for tracking charity issues, and even a blurb document to respond to the most common questions nonprofits had.


The intent of the program was to be cost neutral - the amount Amazon donated to charities was about equal to the costs it saved by not having to pay Google for advertising clicks. Tax writeoff was a negligible side benefit, goodwill was just marketing fodder.


Left because there was no opportunity for promotion or upward mobility. Got my Masters degree and used what I learned about nonprofits and charities to join a nonprofit as a grant writer and eventually help manage a network of nonprofits who help people find employment.


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I originally joined the Smile program back in 2014 or 2015 as I heard it from 'The Indoor Kids' podcast on the Nerdist site w/ Kumail & Emily. Allegedly only a little over $50 has been generated by me personally, the ASPCA has received nearly $16 million & Amazon has generated nearly $450 MILLION world wide. Unsure why the marketing team wasn't told to promote it better but alas, comme ci comme ca.

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