Amazon Axes AmazonSmile Charity Program Amidst Massive Layoffs

AmazonSmile, which launched in 2013, made donations to charity when users shopped using its subdomain.

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Amazon claims that AmazonSmile has donated $400 million to U.S. charities.
Amazon claims that AmazonSmile has donated $400 million to U.S. charities.
Image: David Ryder (Getty Images)

Amazon is set to shutter its charity program AmazonSmile next month. The move comes as the company lets go of thousands of employees as the e-commerce giant looks to cut cuts.

Amazon’s AmazonSmile is a charity program where the company would donate donate 0.5% of the price of eligible products at smile.amazon.com. The program has been advertised as an easy way to donate to a user’s favorite charity simply by buying goods through Amazon. Now AmazonSmile is making customers AmazonFrown as the company announced that it is planning to “wind down” the program on February 20.

“In 2013, we launched AmazonSmile to make it easier for customers to support their favorite charities. However, after almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped,” the company wrote in a statement. “With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.”

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Amazon said that it will continue to provide the charities hosted on AmazonSmile with revenue from shopping until the program closes next month as well as a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022. The company also claims that AmazonSmile has hosted over 1 million U.S. charities and has donated over $400 million through the program since its launch. Amazon did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment on whether all 1 million charities received a piece of that reported $400 million, which would equate to a meager $400 per charity on average.

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The company does plan on continuing to support other charities, just not directly through AmazonSmile. Amazon said that they will support the company’s own charities like Amazon Housing Equity Fund and Amazon Disaster Relief. With the exception of local foodbanks and nonprofits, Amazon appears to no longer be supporting third-party charities like the World Wildlife Fund, like it would with AmazonSmile.

The move comes around the same time that Amazon announced it would be cutting a total of 18,000 jobs in the largest round of layoffs the company has seen. Amazon announced the new figure earlier this month after estimating that the company would initially only layoff 10,000 people late last year, nearly doubling the initial amount.