Amazon Sunsets AmazonSmile Amid Cost-Cutting
The AmazonSmile will be ending by February 20th, according to a statement from the company, as reported by NPR and others. While the program dispersed nearly $449 million to nonprofits globally, the company says that the donations were spread too thin, minimizing impact. Amazon pointed to other efforts, such as its Housing Equity Fund, which supports affordable housing efforts near its headquarters, as an example of a social impact program receiving investment. However, smaller nonprofits that received AmazonSmile donations say that the donation were helpful and would be missed. The move comes after Amazon announced 18,000 layoffs, amid a winter defined by tech layoffs across the industry.
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[00:00:00] George: This week on the nonprofit news feed. Well, we are talking about turning that Amazon smile upside down. I was first off, really happy to be able to come up with that subject line. Um, not as happy that this program is ending. Uh, Nick, how’s it going?
[00:00:42] Nick: It’s going good. George, this is, I think, gonna be one of those weeks where we are just focused on, on one-liners and, and puns. But alas, I’ll take us into the top story, which you alluded to, which is that Amazon Smile. The program that donated a PORs, uh, portion of the proceeds from purchases on Amazon to nonprofits will be coming to a close on February 20th.
[00:01:07] This comes via reporting from NPR and other outlets. And in the history of the program, it dispersed nearly 449 million to nonprofits globally. However, the company says that the donations were spread too thin, minimizing impact. That’s in quotes. Um, Amazon pointed in their statement to other efforts such as its Housing equity fund to support affordable housing.
[00:01:34] Here its headquarters as an example. Of a social impact program it was investing in. However, in the articles, smaller nonprofits said that Amazon SMILE donations were helpful and would be missed. And this comes amid broader economic headwinds that the industry is facing. Amazon has announced 18,000 layoffs.
[00:01:57] Tech layoffs are now commonplace across the board. Amazon Smile more like a frown these days.
[00:02:06] George: I’m sad to see a CSR corporate social responsibility program of this magnitude get sunset in this way in short order. I’ve been looking on LinkedIn, um, the reactions, and some folks are saying, you know, good riddens, this was a distraction for nonprofits because it sort of baits an organization into becoming an affiliate marketer.
[00:02:30] Meaning you get a portion of the sales based on a trackable link and you’re pushing product as opposed to your purpose. , I hear that. I also see 449 million, uh, across nonprofits being something meaningful now. Yeah. You spread peanut butter too thin and it turns into nothing. Right. If I were to donate that, but like, that’s still just, that’s a lot of money.
[00:02:55] You know, there’s, um, 1.5 ish million nonprofits, so I don’t, I don’t know that I buy that full narrative of like, it was too
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