Three ways for charity to benefit from Amazon

This year, a record number of Prime members enjoyed shopping on Amazon on Amazon Prime Day in 13 countries. The sales grew more than 60% from 2016. And as more new members joined Prime yesterday than on any single day in Amazon history, Amazon is undeniably growing its loyal customer base.

To tap this unprecedented power of the Amazon membership, what charities and non-profits need to know, and which charities are succeeding on the Amazon platform? Here are just three examples.

Amazon Smile

Do you know, while your donors are scouring the deals on Amazon Prime Day, they can also support your cause by shopping via Amazon Smile.  Unfortunately, to be the charity of the shopper’s choice and be eligible to receive the 0.5% of their purchase as a donation, your charitable organisation should be listed on GuideStar and registered on Amazon.   This means, unfortunately, charities outside of the US cannot benefit from Amazon Smile even though their supporters can enjoy Amazon Prime Day Sale event. Charities are spreading the word by using #StartwithSmile.


Amazon Wishlist

Charities and schools used to send a wish list to private foundations or auctioned off at the fundraising galas to acquire in-kind donations or monetary donation to buy the listed items such as toys, art supplies, desk top computers etc. Now their in-kind donations are just a few clicks away, thanks to Amazon Wish List. Some hospital foundations and charities have their own donation wish list on Amazon to help bring supplies in. Charities can leave a note so that they can inform how many items they need, how high the priority of the item is so that they can inform donors which items matter the most.

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Amazon’s Philanthropy

Of course, Amazon runs their own philanthropy programs (mainly in the US) and give back locally through pro-bono services, employee volunteering, grants and donation to the causes that are close to Amazon’s business areas(literacy, technology and international development etc).

In Canada, for instance,  Amazon is partnering with Canadian Red Cross, the largest charitable organization in Canada.When someone makes any online purchase on by clicking a special link to Amazon on their web site, the Canadian Red Cross will receive a minimum of 5% of their purchase total. It does make sense. Instead of buying materials and foods on Amazon and sending to emergency shelters or victims of disasters by yourself, you can shop on Amazon and help Red Cross to do more for those in need.

And the Red Cross knows how to raise money through the world biggest online shopping market. American Red Cross does a massive social media campaign every year before Amazon Prime Day to encourage their supporters to shop through AmazonSmile.


There are other Amazon services that Charities can use, such as Amazon Pay(It used to call Amazon Simple Pay Donations) and Amazon Giveaway. If you want to learn more about payment options other than Amazon Pay, please read my another post about online payment service options for charities.


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