Amazon Puts Brakes on Its Charity Program

Program didn't have enough 'impact,' despite $500M in donations since 2013
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2023 7:22 AM CST
Amazon to Stop Its 'Smile' Charity Donations
The Amazon logo is seen in Douai, northern France, April 16, 2020.   (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

Amazon is ending its charity donation program, AmazonSmile, as it seeks to cut costs. Through the program, Amazon donated 0.5% of the cost of eligible purchases to a charity chosen by the shopper, per the Verge. The company says it has donated some $500 million to charities since the program began in 2013, per CNBC. But "the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped," Amazon said Wednesday. "With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin."

Amazon said it will make a one-time donation to participating charities "equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program" before it closes on Feb. 20, according to a notice posted on the company's website. This is just the latest in cost-cutting measures at the company that lost $1 trillion in market value. The move follows the slashing of some 18,000 jobs, a pause on warehouse expansion, and the winding down of other projects, including telehealth service Amazon Care and its retail site amid a poor economic outlook. (More Amazon stories.)

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