Is AmazonSmile right for your non-profit?

by Simba 2 min read

Amazon Smile is a service that allows shoppers to donate while they buy. The idea is simple — every time you shop, Amazon gives 0.5% of the purchase to a charity of your choice. These micro-donations can add up!
This July, Amazon UK donated £3.6 million to charities in the UK through AmazonSmile. Organisations like the British Red Cross received more than £8,000 in just one quarter. The service works all over the world - but before you imagine earning thousands by sharing a link, here are a few things you need to know.

Only registered charities can apply.

To be eligible for AmazonSmile, you need to have the right certifications for non-profit status in your country. This means that if you are an informal organisation or haven’t registered yourself yet, you won’t be able to participate. AmazonSmile has different eligibility criteria for every country, so check to make sure you qualify!

Competition is fierce

There are more than 1 million charities on, which means getting strangers to select your organisation over others is almost impossible. While Amazon features different organisations on their Smile homepage, it isn’t easy to get on that list. What’s easier is to use the program to engage your existing donors further. People enjoy making small gestures and participating in the AmazonSmile program, might help increase their commitment to your cause.

This is a tool, not a solution.

0.5% is a tiny amount, even if you have many people making any purchases. The sooner you realise AmazonSmile isn’t going to replace your regular fundraising, the better prepared you will be to use it well. AmazonSmile offers consumers the opportunity to give while going about their day at no additional cost to them - but this doesn’t mean you should stop asking for personal contributions or seek out other fundraising opportunities. AmazonSmile should be part of your non-profit’s basket of income; just don’t expect it to be a massive one.

Engage younger donors

Since we’re all sitting at home, and young people shop online the most - signing up for AmazonSmile could help target younger donors who are more active online - and less likely to be able to write large checks. Sharing your AmazonSmile link on social media can help get more young people to start their giving journey.

AmazonSmile is not the only option.

While it might seem like Amazon is the only player on the field, they’re just the most famous. Organisations like offer non-profits the same functionality but with higher percentages donated to non-profit. Spendowalso works seamlessly with other apps and provides charities with the additional benefit of donor analytics, helping you improve your fundraising strategy.

Want to learn about other great tools to boost your fundraising? Check out the six great tools non-profits are using right now.