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AmazonSmile: Shopping for Charity

April 29, 2014 Posted by Jessica Shofler in Donations, Fundraising, News, Nonprofits

AmazonSmileEver wish a portion of all of your purchases supported charity, not just purchases of pink water bottles and (RED)TM t-shirts? AmazonSmile does just that.  When you purchase from the website, the company will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charity (you choose from nearly one million charities). This is in addition to Amazon.com’s Wish List we blogged about last year.

While not all Amazon purchases are eligible for donations, Amazon states that there are tens of millions of products that are. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charity you select. If your charity is not registered to participate, you can get it registered here.

A blog on Huffington Posts’ Impact Webpage argues that Amazon’s initiative is bad for charities because purchasers get the warm glow feeling of doing something good for charity without actually having done much good. The blog notes that a consumer would have to spend $10,000 on Amazon to have $50 donated to charity. And because the consumer already feels like he has done something good, it’s less likely he will make a separate donation to charity even though there has been very little charitable benefit.

In essence, charities only benefit if consumers think of the AmazonSmile donation as an addition to their normal donations, not as a replacement.

What do you think? Will you shop at AmazonSmile?