Snippet: Amazon Ends Charity Donation Program AmazonSmile ☍

Shared on January 19, 2023

Romain Dillet for TechCrunch:

Just a few days after announcing a significant round of layoffs that will impact 18,000 employees, Amazon is trying to find money wherever it can as the company announced that it would end AmazonSmile.

AmazonSmile is a donation program that redirects 0.5% of the cost of all eligible products toward charities. It is a separate website that lets you browse and buy items just like on Amazon.com. But Amazon would keep track of your purchases and donate money on your behalf.

The company started sending an email to Amazon customers announcing the change. AmazonSmile will remain open until February 20, 2023.

“After almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped. With so many eligible organizations — more than 1 million globally — our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin,” the company wrote.

I’ve used this feature almost since the beginning and find it slimy that Amazon would end it with the excuse “it’s spread too thin” when even the small amounts going to some organizations (such as schools and animal rescues) make a big impact. On top of that, I doubt this is breaking the bank for Amazon. However, it has always been a good public relations angle and allowed many of us to look past its transgressions for things we can only easily order through the site. Then again, the new normal of 2022 and 2023 seems to be large corporations that have historically done well cutting small things like rewards programs and charitable donations because “times are hard”—if those were truly hurting the business, I think that raises a concern about the health of said company overall. Otherwise, it’s simply more greed.

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