Amazon Shuts Down Its Charity Donation Program

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In a move that many nonprofits are sure to regret, Amazon is bringing to an end its AmazonSmile program, which allows shoppers to direct 0.5% of their purchases to a charity. The program has been around since 2013. Customers are prompted to select a charitable organization on their first visit to AmazonSmile and can change it at any time.

1. Sign up for AmazonSmile

Since the program’s launch in 2013, Amazon says it has donated more than $449 million to charities. Though the donations are small, it’s a passive and long-term source of income for nonprofits.

Registering an organization with Amazon Smile is simple. Start by searching for your nonprofit by name or EIN. If your nonprofit isn’t already listed, create an administrator account and accept the AmazonSmile Participation Agreement on behalf of your organization. You’ll also need to provide your nonprofit’s bank account information and verify the account by providing a voided check or bank statement.

It’s important to note that only eligible purchases will generate donation funds. Returns, canceled orders and items from subscription services are not eligible. Also, Amazon only donates the individual cost of the products — not any other discounts or sales that might be applied to a particular product. The charity gets an electronic transfer of the total donation amount every quarter. These donations are not tax deductible.

2. Select a charity

Once you’ve signed up for AmazonSmile, you can select the charity you would like to support. Amazon will then automatically donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to your chosen charity each time you shop online or through the app. To change your charity, click on ‘Your current charity’ in the web browser or ‘Settings’ in the mobile app. You will be able to see your impact as well as the UK and global impacts. Please select Two Rivers YMCA as your charity of choice to help us help children break free from poverty and build their futures.

Your selection will be valid for one year and will automatically renew twice a year.

3. Make your purchases

If you are an user and want to help out a local charity, this is a great way to do it. Even if you don’t have much time or money to give directly, these small contributions can add up.

Each quarter, the AmazonSmile Foundation will distribute donations to eligible charitable organizations. To see if a particular organization is eligible, you can visit their page on the AmazonSmile site.

You can also change your charity at any time. To do so, hover over the name of your current charity in the upper left corner and click the link titled “Change”. A new window will open, allowing you to browse charities by category or search for a specific one. After you have selected a charity, any purchases you make on AmazonSmile will automatically benefit that nonprofit. In addition, you can buy items from charities’ wish lists using the charity item list browser. Amazon will then deliver the donated items directly to the charity for you.