It looks like Amazon is ending its Amazon Smile charity giving program, according to an email I just received, the gist of which is simply:
We are writing to let you know that we plan to wind down AmazonSmile by February 20, 2023.
I, for one, am sad to see it go. From the moment I learned of the program many years ago (probably from reading a blog post) I developed the habit of always using the smile.amazon.com URL for all of my purchases. It wasn’t hard; once I’d put it in my browser once, I just had to start typing “smile” and the rest would autocomplete. I suppose the hard part was training my brain to think “smile = amazon” but I don’t recall it being that difficult.
I don’t really understand why Amazon is doing this. I suppose there’s some administrative cost to Amazon to keep the program running and distribute funds to charities, but it’s already all set up and most of it is automated, so I can’t imagine the cost is great. When you consider that Amazon brought in over $140 billion in Q3 2022 alone, whatever it costs to run this little charity program is nothing.
And sure, the program wasn’t really doing *that* much, relative to Amazon’s total sales. This critique of the program says that it generated only $12 million in donations in 2015, but isn’t $12 million/year to good causes better than, well, nothing?
I know Amazon is just an evil corporation that I should boycott. I know that. But since I haven’t been able to kick the Amazon habit, the Smile option made me feel just slightly less bad each time I click “buy.” Now even that little bit of conscience-soothing is gone. Damn you, Amazon.