Amazon Smile isn’t smiling after February 20, 2023.

I’ve used Amazon’s Smile ordering service to designate a charitable donation from my online purchases. It’s a passive way to donate to a non-profit organization, while still purchasing whatever odds and ends I can get from Jeff Bezos’ online marketplace.

And I’m sure many other people have used the Amazon Smile ordering platform for their own favorite charities as well. Animal rescue, food banks, homeless shelters, all of that.

Yesterday, I received an email from Amazon detailing changes to the Amazon Smile program.

Check out these changes.

Dear customer,

In 2013, we launched AmazonSmile to make it easier for customers to support their favorite charities. However, after almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped. With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.

We are writing to let you know that we plan to wind down AmazonSmile by February 20, 2023. 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.

To help charities that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program with this transition, we will be providing them with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program, and they will also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes in February. Once AmazonSmile closes, charities will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.


I mean … it almost sounds like the charities are receiving a severance package prior to a furlough.

I don’t know how to take this. But for me, it sounds like Amazon couldn’t get us to buy more things to pass the savings on to the charities, so they’re shutting down the program rather than, oh, I don’t know, increasing their donations on their end?

Yeah, I don’t know.

Don’t get me wrong – I donate to charities as often as I’m able. Whether it’s to major organizations or to the little jar at the diner or to that cardboard stand-up with the quarters embedded in it, I give. But man … this just sucks eggs.

Maybe Amazon will reconsider this program and increase its potential.

Right. Sure. I’ve got a better chance of Amazon NOT dropping my package off near the rain spout on my porch so that the box is completely drenched and soaked before I know it’s arrived.

I guess the old statement is still true. Charity begins at home.

Apparently it begins at home, and it doesn’t continue with the dark blue shipping vans. 😦