If you like your charitable donations quick, automatic, and with the least amount of effort humanly possible - Amazon wants to help you out.
Quick and effortless isn't a bad thing - in fact, it's just the thing that many people need in order to even consider donating to charities. Amazon's new charitable donation program, AmazonSmile, lets you donate to your favorite charities while doing something you're already going to do anyway - shop on Amazon.com.
“We’re offering customers a way to support charitable organizations around the country that’s simple and automatic,” said Ian McAllister, General Manager, AmazonSmile. “We think customers will love the opportunity to support their favorite organizations without changing how they shop, and there’s no cap on how much Amazon will donate.”
Here are the basics of AmazonSmile. Instead of going to amazon.com, you simply head to smile.amazon.com. Once there, you'll be asked to pick your favorite charity (you can change this later at any time in your account settings). After that, you can shop Amazon as usual. Pretty much everything is the same - except for one small change.
When shopping on Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price (minus shipping costs, taxes, and other fees) to the charity that you picked - automatically.
Amazon says that there are "tens of millions" eligible products on AmazonSmile. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscriptions are outside the purview of the program. If a product is AmazonSmile approved, you'll see a little icon in its product description. As far as the charities go, there are nearly a million to choose from, including widely recognized organizations like St. Jude and The American Red Cross as well as more local charities.
For Amazon, it's a win-win. Not only do they get to do some actual good, but they get to promote this program - which has a really nice ring to it. And it's not like they're going to lose a ton of profits from AmazonSmile. With as many purchases that are handled by Amazon on a daily basis, 0.5% is a small chunk for the retail giant (but could make a huge impact on a small charity).
And for shoppers, well, there's absolutely no reason not to shop via smile.amazon.com. Most of the same products will be there, and you're not having to spend an extra penny to donate to charity. It's a rare feat for a large business, but it appears that with AmazonSmile, the company has pulled off a win-win-win.
Image via American Red Cross, Facebook