St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital released this photo in November touting that it received a $15 million donation through its now-defunct AmazonSmile program.Photo courtesy of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Amazon is discontinuing the AmazonSmile program, which donates 0.5% of sales of certain purchases to nonprofit organizations of the choice of customers worldwide.
News promotion: The company told customers in an email that the initiative “hasn’t grown to generate the impact that we originally hoped” and that with more than a million organizations eligible for funding, it “has no impact.” Our ability to give is often too thin.”
By numbers: Since its founding in 2013, AmazonSmile has donated over $377 million to nonprofits, including humanitarian initiatives, animal welfare organizations, school organizations, and hospitals.
- The largest recipient is said to be St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which announced in November that it had become the first nonprofit to receive $15 million from AmazonSmile.
Comments from other users: The announcement of the program’s closure was met with ridicule from Amazon critics who questioned AmazonSmile’s funding recipients and the reasons behind the decision.
- The program “has had a significant impact on my organization over the last seven years.” murmured Lauren Wagner, executive director of the Long Island Arts Alliance. “More importantly, it has allowed our patrons to support our organization in an accessible way. I am disappointed to say the least.”
- Instead, many encouraged Amazon users to donate directly to nonprofits or spend their money on small businesses.
What Amazon says: “Ranked among the top corporate philanthropists in the United States, the company will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where it can make a meaningful difference,” the company said in a statement.