How does AmazonSmile work and should you use it?
What is Amazon Smile?
Smile Amazon (smile.amazon.com) offers the same items, prices, and benefits as its sister website, amazon.com, but with one distinct difference.
When users shop AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation contributes 0.5 percent of eligible purchases to a charity of their choice. Especially for frequent Amazon users, this perk is a great way to give back to charities effortlessly.
Since its launch in 2013, AmazonSmile has supported nearly a million charities and has donated more than $80 million (as of February 2018). The website is identical to Amazon's main site, and consumers can quickly navigate and purchase items. they can even take advantage of the main benefits of membership, sales and more.
All users need to do is visit smile.amazon.com (amazon.com and amazon mobile app purchases do not apply) to earn 0.5 percent of their eligible purchase for your nonprofit organization or cause. Favorite profit.
There is no cost to charities or customers, and 100 percent of the donation generated from eligible purchases goes to the consumer's charity of choice.
However, with any charitable or sales-based donation, questions naturally arise: Will my charity get the full 0.5 percent? What purchases are exempt? Can I cancel these donations for taxes? How does the amazonsmile foundation deliver donations to each charity?
While Amazon, the world's largest internet retailer, isn't the only example of donating to charity while you shop, it is the largest, and its technology solution seems unique in its convenience. however, it is essential to understand how a platform like this impacts both charities and consumers. For the savvy consumer, it's also good to know how to get the most out of AmazonSmile, and which purchases are actually helping your favorite shows.
How consumers can use amazonsmile
Amazonsmile is very easy to use; all you need is an amazon account. On your first visit to the site, you will be prompted to sign in to your Amazon account with your existing username and password (you do not need a separate account for amazonsmile). You will then be asked to choose a charity to support. During future visits to the site, amazonsmile will remember your charity and apply eligible purchases toward your total contribution. It's that easy!
Do you want to support a different charity than the one you first chose? You can change your charity at any time by logging into amazonsmile and clicking on “accounts and lists,” then scrolling down to “your amazonsmile.” From there, click on “change charity” under “your current charity” in the top right corner.
Please note that unless your nonprofit or charity has registered with AmazonSmile, your accumulated donations will go to another registered cause after eight quarters.
If you're wondering if your preferred organization is registered with AmazonSmile, you can contact them via email or social media before selecting them from the AmazonSmile charity list. amazonsmile will also notify that organization that they must sign up to receive donations from your eligible purchases (and from other consumers) once you select them in your account.
Unfortunately, you can only contribute to one organization at a time; The Foundation does not allow multiple organizations on your AmazonSmile account. however, you can easily choose a different charity or switch between several.
Once you've selected a charity, you're ready to start shopping. however, you must log in to smile.amazon.com: donations will not be applied to purchases made on the amazon.com main site or mobile app. It's also important to remember that not everyone qualifies for amazonsmile contributions.
As a regular AmazonSmile participant, I suggest you check each time you shop to make sure you're on the AmazonSmile site. It's so easy to start shopping and then realize you're on the main site. Sometimes Amazon will ask if you want to switch to amazonsmile, but that reminder doesn't show up consistently.
Also, keep expectations in check. Even if you're a regular Amazon Prime Member and shop there constantly, donations add up slowly. After several years of shopping on Amazonzmile, my total donation to my selected charity comes to around $40. You can check how much you've donated by clicking the dropdown arrow next to your charity name.
However, many donors are determined to send every dollar and cent possible to their chosen charity through a variety of means. If you are one of those donors, amazonsmile can be part of your plan.
Also, you may want to send items your organization says it needs through amazonsmile charity lists. Like any gift registry, nonprofits can create a list of things they need, and you can purchase and ship them directly to the organization. You can browse the listings of charities that are categorized into charity categories like pet or international.