A couple of weeks ago, I got an email in my inbox introducing me to Amazon Smile. I got a similar email a while back about another new thing Amazon was doing called MyHabit and it sounded lame, so I ignored the email for a while. But since we were completely snowed in over the weekend and I had a lot of extra time on my hands, I decided to take a peek and see what Amazon was doing to keep boosting its platform.
And I’ve got to say, I’m ridiculously excited about it.
About Amazon Smile
Amazon Smile is just like using the main Amazon website, except you can choose a charitable organization that you support and 0.5% of your purchase is donated to that charitable organization. Not everything you find is eligible for the donation, but if you’re going to be shopping online anyway, you might as well see if what you’re buying is eligible.
When I signed up through my regular Amazon account (I didn’t have to create a new account), I was overwhelmed by the number of organizations they have part of their program. According to their site, there are over one million 501(c)(3) organizations you can choose from. So if you can’t find your favorite, it could be either because it’s not a 501(c)(3) organization or because it’s otherwise ineligible. If your favorite charity is not yet registered with Amazon Smile, you can still select them and Amazon will contact them to register to receive donations. Oh, and you can change it at any time.
Beyond that, everything else is exactly the same as Amazon.com. Read more about it here.
Why I’m excited
I recently wrote a post about my experience working with a humanitarian aid group in Fiji. My experience there made me extremely passionate about helping others less fortunate than I am. The only part of my budget that I wish were limitless is the charitable donations category (unless I create a sushi category someday).
And I already love Amazon. I rarely do online shopping anywhere else, so the idea of being able to help donate to my favorite charity without changing my behavior at all (I’ll have to bookmark it just in case I forget).
What’s in it for you?
For all of you who love getting tax deductions on your charitable donations, unfortunately you won’t be able to deduct these ones since the AmazonSmile Foundation is actually the one donating the money. So what’s in it for you? You get the opportunity to help donate to a charitable organization without changing your behavior one bit. There’s also the added bonus of it being an organization of your choice. It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up and choose your organization, and after that, there’s really no extra time you have to spend to have it count.
0.5% may seem minuscule to you. It definitely does to me, especially because most of my Amazon purchases are less than $10, but Amazon sells millions of dollars in merchandise every single day, and if there are enough people who choose the same organization as you, together we can all make a huge difference. So check it out and tell me what you think!
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