We are committed to providing fast, efficient, and affordable software solutions that set new standards in the software development industry.
  • AmazonSmile: A Simple Way to Give Back This Holiday Season
Technology Articles > Software > Business > AmazonSmile: A Simple Way to Give Back This Holiday Season

Because the holiday season is upon us, it's always a good time of year to start thinking about ways to contribute to society.

That's not to say that you shouldn't think about good deeds all year long, but, let's face it, most of us go for the good when the snowflakes start to fall. This year, Amazon is getting in on the holiday giving with a new service called AmazonSmile.

Millions In and Out

Millions of people purchase items on Amazon daily. During the gift-giving season, those numbers rise drastically. Now when you buy something through Amazon, you can opt to donate a part of your purchase towards a charity that you choose. There are, of course, some rules to consider though.

First, you can only donate a portion of certain items (some items aren't on the list). Second, you can only donate 0.5 percent of that item. Third, you have to pick from a charity that Amazon offers. So, no, you can't set up a fake charity and send donations to yourself.

How It Works

Donations are made to one of the millions of charities that Amazon is working with (you'll find all of the big name charities are eligible). But, those donations aren't made in your name. Donations are send in the AmazonSmile name, so that Amazon gets the credit for setting up such a great program (and with credit comes tax benefits). Still, this is a simple way to donate money to a good cause.

And, hey, you'll feel better about buying items from Amazon if you send a portion of that item to a charity, right? That's the plan, and it is one of the ways that you can donate something this holiday season. The AmazonSmile option will be present during the regular checkout process, so you shouldn't see any big changes there.

What You Can't Donate

Amazon lets shoppers donate a portion of most physical objects. You can't, for example, donate part of a Kindle book purchase. You can donate a portion of a gift purchase, though, if that gift comes in physical (not digital) form. See how that works?

To recap: you can now donate a small percentage of an item you purchase on Amazon to an approved charity. You cannot get a receipt for this donation. You cannot donate a portion of any digital item. And, you can't donate anything that isn't approved by Amazon. Otherwise, the AmazonSmile program is sure to make a lot of charities happy this year, and it won't take anything extra out of your pocket - just Amazon's. 'Tis the season to give, and now sitting at your desk ordering gifts means giving too. Ah, you have to love the Internet!

Will you donate through AmazonSmile? Should Amazon win the "charitable company" award? Is this a good or bad idea? If you're looking to get your charity on that list, you can contact Amazon, by the way.

What are your thoughts? Let us know what you are pondering below!