Are you an Amazon shopper? I always check Amazon when I need something because it usually has good prices, it provides tons of product reviews, the shipping is fast, and – best of all – it saves me a trip to the store.
Since I am a fan of Amazon, I was happy to learn that now, I can also ask them to contribute a portion of my eligible purchases to a charity of my choice. Their AmazonSmile program has been around for a little over a year, but I’m just now finding out about it. Maybe I’m not as big a fan as I thought!
In any case, it’s a sweet deal. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to a charity that you designate (no cost to you). You simply go to smile.amazon.com, log in with your Amazon credentials, or create an account if you don’t have one, and select a charity. If you don’t see the charity you want among their spotlight charities, you can type in the name of another organization. Don’t worry, you can always change it later. You’ll know which charity you’re currently supporting because it will be listed in the upper left side of your browser window like this:
Here’s the important part
You need to go to smile.amazon.com each time you shop instead of going to amazon.com. That way, Amazon knows you want them to donate 0.5% of your eligible purchase to the charity you’ve designated. You can look at this one of two ways:
1. Amazon wants you to have total control. On those days when you are feeling especially uncharitable, you can just shop from Amazon.
2. Amazon doesn’t want to make it that convenient for you to give away their money.
Either way, you can just bookmark smile.amazon.com or add a shortcut to your browser.
Don’t know which charity to pick?
Here are some that I like:
- The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
- Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Three Square
- Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation
If you want to make sure a reputable charity is receiving Amazon’s donation, check out Charity Navigator. They rate most charities according to various factors, and you can see what portion of their funds go toward actual program activities.
Now, I realize that 0.5% isn’t much. At that rate, you’d have to purchase $100 worth of eligible items for the charity to receive $5. But it’s better than nothing. I don’t think AmazonSmile is meant to replace people’s regular donations, but it’s a great way to enhance them.