Amazon Is Closing Down AmazonSmile on Feb. 20

Amazon announced(Opens in a new window) that it’s closing down AmazonSmile, which has donated $400 million to US charities over the past decade.

Launched back in 2013, AmazonSmile saw Amazon donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases made through in a new window) to charity, with consumers able to choose from over a million charitable organizations to support. However, on Feb. 20 the program will be closed down because it “has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped.”

Amazon explains that because there are over a million organizations benefiting from AmazonSmile, “our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.” So instead, the company is going to refocus on investing in areas “where we’ve seen we can make meaningful change.” Examples given include building affordable housing, providing education in underserved communities, and assisting people during natural disasters.

The announcement will come as a major blow to any charitable organizations that currently receive a significant portion of their donations through AmazonSmile. To cushion the blow, Amazon is providing a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what each organization earned in 2022 through the program. After that, charities are encouraged to create Amazon wish lists so customers can continue to support them.

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The news has been met with a mix of disbelief, anger, and confusion from charities and consumers. For example, the SquirrelWoord Enquine Sanctuary tweeted(Opens in a new window) a copy of the announcement along with the comment “What???? Seriously @amazon.” One reply points out that AmazonSmile was a way to support small charities who are “innovative and creative,” while another says they made purchases through Amazon because of the donation and that will not be the case in the future. Thankfully, there are many alternative ways to keep on donating once AmazonSmile is gone.

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