Want to Support Your Favorite Charity? Amazon Makes It Easy

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  • Shopping via AmazonSmile is an easy way to give to a nonprofit organization.
  • Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charity you specify, and you can change charities any time.
  • Nonprofit organizations can sign up to be listed with Amazon, and they'll be vetted to ensure they're in good standing with the IRS as a 501(c)(3).

Make a nonprofit organization smile with AmazonSmile.

The end of the year is a popular time to make a charitable donation. But thanks to Amazon, you can arrange for your year-round shopping to benefit a nonprofit organization. And best of all, there's no charge to you for participating, meaning you get to do good and also keep more money in your checking account. So what is AmazonSmile and how does it work? Read on to find out.

AmazonSmile basics

The AmazonSmile Foundation is a nonprofit created to administer Amazon's charitable giving program, and is itself supported by Amazon funding (meaning that no money collected from Amazon shoppers is used for this, so 100% of your donations go to your selected organization). There's also no cost to your favorite charity to participate and receive donations.

Signing up for AmazonSmile as an Amazon user is very easy. You visit smile.amazon.com, rather than the standard URL for the site, and you'll be prompted to pick an organization to support with your eligible purchases. Shopping via the AmazonSmile URL doesn't change the available products and services Amazon offers; it just ensures that part of what you spend is sent to the charity you've selected. When you choose an item that qualifies for the program, its product page will read "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation."

Amazon donates 0.5% of your eligible purchase costs to the organization you choose. AmazonSmile shoppers can also change their charity any time by going into their account settings from that special URL and finding the option "Change your Charity."

Which charities can you support with this program?

There are over 1 million 501(c)(3) nonprofits listed with Amazon that you can choose from if you don't already have a particular organization in mind. Those listed on AmazonSmile have been verified to be in good standing with the IRS, and must register with Amazon to receive their allocation of money collected.

If your favorite nonprofit organization isn't listed on AmazonSmile, you can still shop on its behalf. Amazon states that it will contact the charity to collect the necessary information to ensure donations are sent to the right place. Amazon sends the total amount donated per organization out quarterly. If the charity you pick doesn't register by the end of eight full quarters after money is collected, Amazon will ask you to pick a different organization to support.

Amazon states that organizations engaging in or promoting hate, intolerance, violence, money laundering, or other illegal activities are not eligible to participate in AmazonSmile. It works with oversight organizations to determine which charities to exclude. That said, it pays to do your own research when it comes to nonprofits to make sure you're supporting organizations that uphold your values. Charity Navigator is a good place to vet any nonprofits you're considering donating to.

In these days of rampant inflation and higher prices on everything, it can be hard to stretch your budget to make room for charitable giving. But there are a lot of nonprofit organizations doing good in your community that rely on your support. Signing up to support one through AmazonSmile is a great way to donate in the course of your everyday shopping.

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