Amazon Ending AmazonSmile Charity Donation Program

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Amazon’s charity donation program is coming to end and here’s why.

Amazon employee

AmazonSmile is on the chopping block. 😢

Amazon’s charity donation program is ending in February and customers don’t feel it’s something to smile about. The program, called AmazonSmile, gave Amazon shoppers a choice to donate .5% of eligible purchases to the charity of their choice. The program has donated over $400 million to U.S. charities, and according to NPR, over $449 million globally. Even so, Amazon is abruptly shutting down the decade-old program come February 20th, 2023.

Amazon released a statement saying that they felt the impact of the program was being “spread too thin” and had not “grown to create the impact” that they had hoped. The company felt that some charities weren’t receiving very large sums of money.

Austin Pets Alive! AmazonSmile Charity
Credit: AmazonSmile/Austin Pets Alive!

However, the decision to cease the initiative was met with controversy. Both small charities and Amazon shoppers took to social media to express their dismay. Just check out these responses on Twitter! 😬

According to social media feedback, some non-profits greatly benefited from these smaller donations. Meanwhile, Amazon shoppers loved having a way to support causes that were important to them.

This past year, Amazon has been cutting costs and laying off workers. This has left some critics wondering if the decision to end AmazonSmile had little to do with donations being “spread too thin” and more to do with financial hardship. We may never know the true answer as Amazon is sticking to its story.

Will Amazon continue donating to charity?

Cascadia Elementary PTA was part of AmazonSmile charity program
Credit: AmazonSmile/Cascadia Elementary PTA

Yes. First, Amazon will provide a one-time donation to the charities that were part of the program. The donation will be equivalent to three months’ worth of what the charity received in 2022 through the AmazonSmile program. The charities can also continue to receive donations up until February 20th, 2023. Charities can also create Amazon wishlists and ask their supporters for donations.

Once AmazonSmile is officially closed, Amazon promises to continue to help charities across the United States. Amazon claimed they will help “thousands of charities.” Their official release mentioned 5 specific examples:

  • Housing Equity Fund – Amazon is investing $2 billion to build and preserve affordable housing for 18,000+ families.
  • Amazon Future Engineer – The company has funded a large computer science program and also provided food, clothing, and school supplies to 55,000 children in need.
  • Community Delivery Program – Amazon has partnered with food banks in 35 cities and helped to provide some 53 million meals and counting.
  • Amazon Disaster Relief – The company has responded to some 95 natural disasters and helps provide quick aid to communities in need.
  • Community Giving – Amazon donates to hundreds of local nonprofits that work to create stronger communities through initiatives like helping youth, community colleges, and building shelters for the homeless.

Though Amazon customers are happy that the company says it is committed to philanthropy, they are still disappointed that their favorite charities may no longer benefit.

Do you have a favorite charity that was part of AmazonSmile? Spread the word about them in the comments!

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About the writer:

Kara is a writer and photographer from the Midwest. Her creative work has appeared in various publications over the past decade. With a background in finance, she loves to be money-savvy.

Join The Discussion

Comments 12

  1. Emily

    Hate to hear this! That little bit added up for the charity we support.

  2. Valerie

    very disheartening. The animal shelter I vounteer at benefits from that program…talking about being spread thin…they are already spread thin…especially with the cost of supplies going up too. breaks my heart

  3. Jill

    I’ll bet the recipients of the money didn’t think it was too little….. I imagine every little bit donated helped. well, I’ll just have to make the donations on my own.

  4. Mona

    So disappointing, the percentage of the donations were ridiculously low. Maybe giving more percentages, would have make it more successful.

  5. Denise

    So disappointing to hear this.. We have an animal rescue as our charity and I know anything helps…

  6. Betty

    Amazon never shared information with agencies about who selected them for donations, so there is no way to follow-up with them after this program ends. Facebook never shares donor information either. I work for a small nonprofit that benefits from this program and it will absolutely be missed.

    • Beverly

      Same here! For the nonprofit where I work, every bit helps.

  7. Melissa

    This was one of the redeeming qualities of Amazon. I’m super disappointed and supported the Alzheimer’s Association with my purchases. I hope they’ll reconsider

  8. Marinova

    Wow, and here the ability to support my charity was one of a rapidly diminishing number of reasons I kept Amazon. May have to say bye bye Amazon like I said by bye Starbucks. Morals matter.
    Will organizations like H2S still get a kickback when we buy from a link here?

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi, Marinova! This does not affect their affiliate program that we use. Hope that helps! 🥰

  9. Jessica King

    It went to my children’s school pta. So bummed.

  10. TrailTrekker

    So basically now they’re forcing us to support the charities they want rather than giving us a choice in where we want it to go. I agree it was one of the redeeming qualities of Amazon, and our school benefited from it. Not tons of money, but several hundred per year buys a lot of books, or school lunches, or supplies, etc.

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