Amazon Smile Ditches Charity Program, Leaves Tzadakah Organizations Without the Smile

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Amazon is winding down its charitable-giving arm next month on grounds that its impact is “often spread too thin” even though it has donated to more than a million organizations over the past decade.

In a Wednesday note to customers, Amazon said the program “AmazonSmile,” launched in 2013, would be suspended on Feb. 20. AmazonSmile allowed direct donations equaling a half-percent from each purchase to a nonprofit of their choice. To help ease the transition, participating charities will receive a one-time donation equaling roughly a quarter of what they received in 2022, the company said.

Since its launch, “the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped,” the company said, while adding that it will still “pursue and invest in other areas where we’ve seen we can make meaningful change” such as affordable housing, education and food-assistance programs.

The program’s shuttering comes after the e-commerce giant announced plans to cut 18,000 jobs and as numerous technology companies lay off workers amid global economic uncertainty. (Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post.)

Over the years, the program generated tens of millions of dollars and distributed that money to organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the American Cancer Society.

But it also distributed more than $42,000 to nonprofits spreading disinformation about coronavirus vaccines, The Post has reported.

The program’s donations increased steadily between 2013 and 2020, according to tax records. In 2013, the charitable-giving arm disbursed $10,000. Those distributions grew to more than $60 million in 2020.

(c) 2023, The Washington Post · Julian Mark 



  1. Smiles won’t disappear so fast. Most organizations were, individually, not getting very much from this. It was a nice little extra.

    • Here is the summary for the smile organization I chose. Not a lot of money, but a little something

      This is your quarterly AmazonSmile donation notification. Your chosen charity, Friends of Neve College for Women Inc, recently received a quarterly donation of $236.92 from AmazonSmile. To date, Amazon has donated a total of:
      $6,946.15 to Friends of Neve College for Women Inc


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