See how you can get Amazon to donate a small percentage of your purchases to a charity of your choice.

By Hannah Bruneman
Updated December 01, 2020

You can officially add charitable donations to your list of reasons to buy that last-minute purchase on Amazon. As if fast shipping and a huge assortment of products weren't enough, the online retailer also has a sister site called AmazonSmile that donates a small percentage of your purchase to a charity of your choice. It doesn't cost anything extra, carries all the same products, and has the same great deals.

amazon package on conveyor belt
Credit: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The service looks and works exactly like the regular Amazon site we love, but upon your first visit, you choose from one of the many (we're talking more than one million!) public charitable organizations registered with AmazonSmile. After that, 0.5% of your eligible purchases will benefit your chosen charity. You can change your chosen charity at any time through your account settings.

AmazonSmile specifies "eligible" purchases because not every item on the site is up for donations. There are tens of millions of eligible products, but some items, such as recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases, are not.

To reach the AmazonSmile site, simply type into your web browser. Once you sign up for the program, it will connect with your existing Amazon account, so your shopping cart, registries, and account settings will transfer over. If you're an Amazon Prime member, those benefits will transfer as well. You can also access AmazonSmile on the retailer's shopping app. Navigate to the app settings, tap on "AmazonSmile," and follow the instructions to start generating donations.

To get your own charitable organization registered with AmazonSmile, you can register online. The charity must be a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States and comply with AmazonSmile's participation agreement. There is no extra cost associated with registering an organization.

As of December 2020, AmazonSmile has donated $215 million to charitable organizations. That's a pretty incredible feat for something that takes little-to-no thought from the customer. If you're already an online shopper, make the switch to AmazonSmile the next time you add to your cart.


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