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AmazonSmile to close by 20 February


Amazon has announced that it is closing AmazonSmile, and will wind it down by 20 February this year, saying that the programme has not grown to create the impact it hoped for.

Instead, Amazon says it will ‘pursue and invest in other areas where it can make meaningful change— from providing support to families in need, to using our logistics infrastructure and technology to assist communities impacted by natural disasters.’

AmazonSmile launched 10 years ago and lets customers choose a charity through small donations generated by their purchases.

According to Amazon’s statement breaking the news, AmazonSmile represents a very small portion of the total charitable contributions made through its other programmes, which it estimates at more than £100 million in 2021.

Amazon will be providing an additional one-time donation to participating charities equivalent to six months of what they earned through the programme in 2022, and they will also be able to accrue additional donations until the programme officially closes in February. Once AmazonSmile closes, it says, charities will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.

The statement lists some of the other ways Amazon will continue helping nonprofits, including increasing its support for a charity coalition led by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown that has donated essential products to more than 50,000 families in need; a new partnership with Comic Relief; product donation programmes; and the launch of a new Amazon for Charity store which allows charities to raise money by selling products on Amazon and collecting 100% of profits. Nonprofits currently featured include Macmillan Cancer Support, Royal British Legion, the Natural History Museum, and Marie Curie.

The announcement has been largely met by disappointment on social media with some shoppers saying AmazonSmile was the reason they used Amazon and would now look elsewhere, and charities and their representatives voicing disappointment that they would lose this income, particularly during the current cost of living crisis. Others have pointed to the relatively small amount of money it has raised for good causes.

Very disappointing news that #AmazonSmile is winding down next month. @LUPUSUK received £3,441.41 from this in 2022 alone. This source of income will be sorely missed at a time when charities are experiencing massive demand and lower income due to the #CostOfLivingCrisis. pic.twitter.com/dTnqXgeoww

— Paul Howard (@PaulHowardCEO) January 19, 2023

Absolutely disgusting. My local cat rescue relies quite a lot on the donations it receives through Amazon Smile and to think this extra life line is now being shut down? This was the only reason I would use Amazon. Greedy corporate pigs. #amazonsmile pic.twitter.com/hy8GOsBb9Q

— EmmaLouiise.Photography (@EmLouiise_Snaps) January 19, 2023

This morning’s inbox has been full of price increases from our suppliers & notification from @amazon that they are dropping their brilliant #AmazonSmile programme which raises @ £6k a year towards our running costs & supports so many charities. It’s going to be a tough year pic.twitter.com/xQW8gswqkd

— Hope Rescue (@HopeRescue) January 19, 2023

Big brand charities did well out of Amazon Smile by leveraging their supporter base. Amazon concentrating its efforts to maximise impact makes sense.

What it could to help smaller orgs is to encourage its sellers to adopt one and donate % of their sales.https://t.co/Sk0EtnGOk4 https://t.co/H95cs5fX8G

— John Thompson – fundraising consultant (@JTCHANGINGBIZ) January 19, 2023

Amazon Smile raised $377m since 2013 for charities (av $35m /year)

So far Facebook Giving tools have raised over $7B since 2017 (av $1400m /year)

40X more even tho Amazon processing millions of financial transactions daily

This is the power of social fundraising

— Nick Burne (@nickburne) January 19, 2023

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