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Amazon Close AmazonSmile

James Capell
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Amazon announced earlier this month that they will close AmazonSmile in February to focus on other philanthropic giving programs that have a greater impact.

The charitable program was launched in 2013 and benefitted more than 1 million charities globally. However, despite the program benefiting more than 1 million charities, Amazon says that AmazonSmile did not grow to create the impact they had hoped for. The closure disappoints charities, who’ve argued that the program had a significant benefit, especially for smaller charities. Vanessa Martin, Founder of Childhood Tumour Trust, told the BBC:

For tiny charities like ours that rely on fundraising to exist, the phrase ‘every penny counts’ couldn’t be truer – particularly in the times we are living in.

The charity, which helps families with children that have neurofibromatosis, has received enough money to send five children to a therapeutic camp. Martin went on to say,

Their attitude is crazy… when we are happy with a £10 donation, are they saying it’s better to not give anything?

AmazonSmile Will Be Missed by Many

To help charities through the transition, Amazon will give a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program. In addition, after AmazonSmile closes, charities can still seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.

Instead of continuing with AmazonSmile, which benefited charities globally, Amazon is continuing to help existing projects in the US. These projects include building affordable housing, providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities, and using their logistics infrastructure and technology to assist communities impacted by natural disasters.

In recent years, Amazon has invested $2 billion in affordable housing, creating more than 14,000 homes. The tech giant has also funded computer science courses for more than 600,000 students and plans to reach an additional 1 million students this year.

Amazon has also used its logistic network to create a relief hub in Atlanta that stocks more than 1 million relief items ready for deployment and has donated more than 20 million relief products to non-profits. Amazon stated:

We’ll continue working to make a difference in many ways, and our long-term commitment to our communities remains the same—we’re determined to do every day better for our customers, our employees, and the world at large.

While Amazon continues to invest in charities and support philanthropic projects, this news comes as a blow to smaller charities that benefited from AmazonSmile.

James Capell

James Capell

Technical editor and journalist. I have a particularly strong interest in NLP, AI ethics and cyber crime. Not too fond of cats.

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