What Is Amazon Smile: Top 5 Misconceptions About Amazon Smile, Explained

Holding donation box
What Is Amazon Smile? Lets look at the top 5 misconceptions about Amazon Smile, and how it supports the charity of your choice when you shop.

Written by Community Spotlight

Brades' Place partners with members of the community who want to share their experiences and insights into the world of palliative care. If you are interested in sharing your own thoughts or experiences, reach out to us using the contact form on the website.

Published March 11, 2022

Amazon Smile may be a term that you are unfamiliar with, and believe me when I say you are not alone! Amazon’s latest venture to explore alternative options to charitable giving has gone somewhat unnoticed. So, what is Amazon Smile? It is simply a way to support a charitable organization while you shop on Amazon, at no extra cost to you. Every time you make an eligible purchase on Amazon, 0.5% of your total is donated to your charity of choice. Seems easy right? Unfortunately, as with many things, the internet has made it seem more difficult than it really is. A simple google search of Amazon Smile brings up a world of complicated and controversial information. So, let’s set the record straight with these 5 common misconceptions about Amazon Smile:

1. Amazon automatically takes the donation when I shop.

Wrong! If you have signed up for Amazon Smile then you are heading in the right direction, but don’t assume that signing up means you’re donating. Amazon Smile is a separate portal from the main site but still offers the same prices and deals. This means that there is an extra step to make your donation count. While shopping and donating with Amazon Smile is easy enough, it does require you to make sure you are on the Amazon Smile portal and not just the Amazon.com page. Make sure you use https://smile.amazon.com/ and make sure you turn on Amazon Smile in the app when you make your purchase, and you can share a smile when you shop!

What is Amazon Smile Man washing hands showcasing Amazon Smile campaign helping water charity.

2. Amazon Smile doesn’t donate enough money to make a difference

We get it! 0.5% doesn’t seem like a lot to most people, but to charities, every little bit counts. Let’s break it down. The average person spends around $1500 a year on Amazon alone, and with 197 million people using amazon, there is a potential for around  $29,550,000,000 to be generated each year. That is a lot of zeros! If 0.5% of that money was donated, then $1477500000 ends up in non-profits pockets. Doesn’t seem so bad now, does it? For a charity like Brades’ Place which provides palliative care to children across the State of Utah, just 100 people shopping with Amazon Smile could provide therapy to a child who suffers from multiple illnesses every day. It’s free and it saves lives! What’s better, is that you get to decide where Amazon’s money goes! See this page for more information on what your Amazon Smile donation could do.

Father and mother with daughter with special medical needs.

3. Amazon Smile favorites certain charities

While Amazon has 5 spotlight charities that they suggest when choosing your charity online, it isn’t new for companies to want donations to go to charities close to their heart. This doesn’t mean that they are the only options! Far from it! Amazon allows you to choose from over 1 million charities on their Amazon Smile platform and charities are welcome to sign up to be part of the program at any time. Our suggestion? Do some research. Amazon Smile allows you to search specific charities as well as charities by location and type. Take the extra 5 minutes to browse for a charity that means something to you, because the power is in your hands, not Amazon’s.

What is Amazon Smile: Select a charity

4. Everything I purchase is eligible for a donation

While we wish this was true, it’s not. Not everything you want to buy will be eligible for a donation on Amazon Smile. But, there is a way to see if items qualify for the donation. As you are browsing for products on Amazon Smile, you will see that on some products there is a note titled “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product details page. As a rule of thumb, products that are a subscribe and save service or renewals, don’t qualify. Keep an eye out to make your donation count. 

5. Changing my charity is complicated

Changing your charity is very easy when you know how to. It can be done in just 2 simple steps. While on the Amazon Smile portal, select “Your Account” from the navigation menu on any page and select “Change Your Charity.”From there you can start searching for your favorite non-profits. Visit https://bradesplace.org/amazonsmile/ to switch your charity today!

What is Amazon Smile change my charity

Summing it up

Behind the smiles, we are smiling! While you may hear mixed messages about Amazon Smile, or you may not have heard about it at all, it is doing its bit to help charities in the long run. While there is a lack of clarity around what Amazon Smile is, how it works, and what it does, answers are out there. Your donations matter, so donate today and share a smile with Brades’ Place. 

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