What Is Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile, the program launched in 2013 by Amazon to help customers donate to their favorite charities, is officially winding down. Let’s take a look at what Amazon Smile was.

What Is Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile is a charitable giving program run by the e-commerce giant Amazon. Launched in 2013, the program allows customers to donate a portion of their purchase price to a charity of their choice. When you shop through the Amazon Smile portal, a percentage of the purchase price is donated by Amazon to the selected charity. Over the years, Amazon Smile has become an increasingly popular way for people to support their favorite causes while shopping online.

One of the things that sets Amazon Smile apart from other charitable giving programs is its ease of use. Once you select a charity, all you have to do is shop through the Amazon Smile portal, and Amazon takes care of the rest. There are no additional fees or charges for using the program, and you can choose from a wide range of eligible charities, including national organizations like the American Cancer Society and local nonprofits like food banks and animal shelters.

Since its launch, Amazon Smile has generated millions of dollars in donations for charities around the world. According to Amazon, customers have donated more than $160 million to charities through the program as of 2021. This has made a real difference in the lives of people and communities in need, and has helped to support important causes in fields like education, health, and the environment.

Early days

Amazon Smile was launched in 2013 as a way to support charities and nonprofit organizations through the power of online shopping. The program was inspired by Amazon’s earlier efforts to give back to local communities through its Amazon Associates program, which allowed bloggers and website owners to earn commissions by linking to Amazon products.

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According to an Amazon spokesperson, the idea for Amazon Smile came from a group of Amazon employees who were looking for ways to give back to the community. They recognized the power of Amazon’s vast customer base and online platform, and saw an opportunity to use that platform to support charitable causes. With the support of Amazon’s leadership, they launched Amazon Smile as a pilot program in late 2013, partnering with a small number of charities to test the concept.

The early days of Amazon Smile were focused on building partnerships with charities and nonprofits and refining the program’s technical infrastructure. One of the key challenges was ensuring that the donations were processed accurately and efficiently, and that the program was transparent and easy to use for both customers and charities. Amazon worked closely with its partner charities to iron out any kinks in the system and to gather feedback on how to improve the program.

As Amazon Smile grew in popularity, the company continued to expand its list of eligible charities and to promote the program to its customers. Today, Amazon Smile is available to customers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other countries, and supports over one million eligible charities. Despite its early success, Amazon has continued to refine and improve the program over the years, demonstrating its commitment to using its platform for good.

Charities

Amazon Smile partners with over one million charities, giving customers a broad range of options to support various causes around the world. These charities range from large, well-known organizations like the American Red Cross and UNICEF to small, local nonprofits that focus on community-based initiatives.

One of the charities that Amazon Smile supports is the American Cancer Society, which is committed to funding cancer research and providing support for cancer patients and their families. Through Amazon Smile, customers can choose to donate a percentage of their purchase price to the American Cancer Society, helping to advance the fight against cancer and improve the lives of those affected by the disease.

Another organization that benefits from Amazon Smile donations is the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), which is dedicated to rescuing and protecting animals from abuse and neglect. With Amazon Smile, customers can support the ASPCA’s work to rescue animals from cruelty, provide medical care and shelter for animals in need, and promote humane treatment of animals through public education and advocacy.

Other notable charities that Amazon Smile partners with include Doctors Without Borders, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Through Amazon Smile, customers can choose to support causes ranging from disaster relief and humanitarian aid to education, the arts, and the environment. Regardless of the cause, Amazon Smile offers a simple and effective way for people to support the charities and causes they care about while shopping on Amazon.

Conclusion

Amazon Smile, the program launched in 2013 by Amazon to help customers donate to their favorite charities, is officially winding down. In a statement released by the company in February 2023, Amazon cited the program’s lack of impact and the difficulty of making a significant difference with so many eligible organizations. The program’s official closure date was set for February 20, 2023.

While this news may be disappointing for many Amazon Smile users, the company is making efforts to ensure a smooth transition for charities involved in the program. Amazon is providing a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what each charity earned in 2022 through the program, and charities will be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes. Additionally, Amazon is encouraging charities to continue seeking support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.

Despite the end of Amazon Smile, Amazon is still committed to philanthropy and giving back to communities. The company is focusing on areas where it can make meaningful change, such as building affordable housing, providing access to computer science education for underserved communities, and assisting communities impacted by natural disasters. Amazon has several programs in place to support these efforts, including the Housing Equity Fund, Amazon Future Engineer, the Community Delivery Program, Amazon Disaster Relief, and community giving.

Overall, while the end of Amazon Smile may be disappointing for some, Amazon is continuing to prioritize philanthropy and making a difference in communities through other programs and initiatives.

As a result of a 2021 ordinance, New York is the only significant American city that mandates businesses display signs informing customers that they are collecting biometric data. Amazon is now being sued for not telling customers about facial recognition.

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