Since its inception in 2013, Amazon's charitable giving program, AmazonSmile, has donated at least $449 million to a variety of charities, but its decadelong run is coming to an end on the heels of the online retailer's plans to cut 18,000 jobs.
Amazon said Thursday it planned to "wind down" AmazonSmile by Feb. 20, saying it hadn't achieved its aim. After nearly 10 years, "the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped," the ecommerce giant said in a news release. “With so many eligible organizations — more than 1 million globally — our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin."
I should have known that #AmazonSmile was too good for this world.— Boter Bug (@BoterBug) January 19, 2023
"...the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped."
Sure as hell looks like it made an impact to me. pic.twitter.com/mnRuXtEmJJ
Using the company's money, the program contributed half-percent of each purchase to charities chosen by Amazon customers. Most nonprofit organizations could participate in AmazonSmile, but there was a huge disparity in the amount given to each. Though a few received more than $1 million, thousands of others received just $5. The average donation to charities was less than $230 in 2021, according to Amazon.
To ease the transition of the program's cessation, Amazon said it would provide a one-time donation equal to three months of what each charity earned in 2022.
After the program ends, Amazon shoppers can continue to support charities by giving to those organizations that have created their own wishlists.