Amazon Kills AmazonSmile Charity Donation Program

The e-commerce retailer said the program, which launched about a decade ago, failed to live up to its desired impact.
The Amazon logo hanging on a building.
  • Amazon is ending AmazonSmile, its program that allowed customers to donate to charities. 
  • The retailer launched AmazonSmile in 2013, and it said it’s shutting it down due to a failure to deliver its desired impact.
  • The move comes amid a series of cost-cutting measures for the e-commerce giant.

Amazon plans to ax AmazonSmile, the platform that allowed customers to support third-party charity groups through its purchases, next month.

The e-commerce platform made the announcement in an email to customers sent Jan. 18 along with a blog post. Amazon said the decision to end AmazonSmile follows its failure to deliver the “impact” the retailer had hoped to see when it launched nearly a decade ago in 2013. 

The program will officially shut down Feb. 20, the email said. The retailer said it would help charities that used the platform by making a one-time donation the equivalent of three months of what they earned on AmazonSmile in 2022. Once the program shuts down, charities can still get help from Amazon customers by adding items to wish lists, the retailer said.

“We will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where we’ve seen we can make meaningful change — from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities to using our logistics infrastructure and technology to assist broad communities impacted by natural disasters,” the email to customers said.


Amazon also highlighted other ongoing charitable efforts at the company, including a $2 billion investment into the Housing Equity Fund; its Amazon Future Engineer program, which funds computer science curriculums for students in underserved communities; its efforts to work with food banks; its efforts to support disaster relief and its community giving initiative, which supports local nonprofits. 

The soon-to-be-defunct program allowed Amazon shoppers to donate 0.5% of their eligible purchase cost to a charity of their choice. Since its inception in 2013, AmazonSmile has made more than $400 million in donations to U.S. charities and more than $449 million to charitable organizations globally, according to the retailer. 

The move is the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures for the e-commerce retailer, which plans to dismiss more than 18,000 workers in layoffs that began last year, Retail Leader reported earlier in January.