Recently we talked about 10 Amazon Prime benefits you’re probably not aware of. Well, it looks like we left one out! Simply use smile.amazon.com instead of www.amazon.com the next time you go shopping, and the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice.
Here’s how Amazon describes its AmazonSmile Foundation:
AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets you enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile(smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the eligible charitable organization of your choice.
AmazonSmile lead, Ian McAllister, says that the charity program is something customers are sure to love, and the shopping experience is otherwise identical to the regular Amazon site.
There are however a few exceptions for items that do not qualify for charity; these include subscription items (subscribe & save), and digital items. Nearly everything else on the site qualifies, including some of the most expensive items listed in the Fine Art section such as Jacqueline au Bandeau by Pablo Picasso for just $120,000.00 USD.
You Control where the Money is Sent
The best part as mentioned earlier, although Amazon features specific charities by default, you can use the search tool to select your favorite charity. For example, want to donate to your local schools, fire departments or religious organization? Simple, just use the search box as shown above.
Imagine if your local supermarkets did this rather than asking if you’d like to give cash to some random charity that you probably don’t care about… or trust… But, giving to my local community? Definitely. And again, the best part, it doesn’t cost you anything; AmazonSmile is taking the giving out of its own profits.
Spread the Giving between Multiple Charities
The charity chosen isn’t permanent either, it can be changed at any time using the Change Your Support link. This means if there are multiple charities you want to help out, just change the setting between each purchase.
The smile program is simple enough to use. Just visit smile.amazon.com choose your Charity, and then shop like normal. Donations are not given unless you specifically buy while on the smile.amazon.com subdomain so don’t forget. If you do, Amazon will remind you from time-to-time and let you know how much cash your charity missed out on. The lesson here, don’t forget!
My Charity is Missing, Can I add it?
Charities interested in joining the program can sign up at https://org.amazon.com/. The Organizations must be public charitable organizations that are registered and in good standing with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) to be eligible to participate.
One thing to keep in mind, being that you’re not actually giving the donations out of your pocket, none of your giving is tax deductible through this program. Something to bear in mind around tax time if you want to keep the IRA taxman happy.
Published 12/5/2013. Last updated 9/22/2017.