Nonprofits and experts accuse Amazon of being greedy by ending its charity programme. AmazonSmile
Laura Hogue, who works for an animal fostering non-profit in Louisville, Kentucky, was “offended” when she saw the email about AmazonSmile ceasing to exist. The programme will be discontinued starting on February 20. Amazon stated in a Wednesday email that the programme “has not expanded to produce the impact that we had first intended.” The email continued, “With so many qualifying organizations—more than 1 million worldwide—our potential to have an impact was frequently spread too thin.
The director and (unpaid) treasurer for Pit Bulls of St. Francis (PBSF) Dog Rescue in Louisville, Kentucky, is Hogue, a full-time paralegal. Although PBSF does not have a physical location, it unites dogs who are in danger of being put down with foster families.
According to Hogue, PBSF earned around $600 from AmazonSmile last year. She remarked, “You could say that’s not really a lot of money. But for us, that $600 saves one or two pets, and to me, that makes a big difference. AmazonSmile gives 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases made at smile.amazon.com to the charity of the customer’s choosing. Additionally, charities would want supporters to select them when utilising AmazonSmile.
The email, according to Hogue, “made us feel small.”
She continued, “I just felt that saying they don’t feel like they’re making enough difference was just condescending.
Since the debut of AmazonSmile in 2013, more than $500 million has been donated to charitable organisations, according to the business. It has also experienced PR difficulties with the programme, like as in 2021 when it had to exclude militia organisations from the site.
The programme was probably discontinued as part of Amazon’s continuous cost-cutting efforts. The business started its largest round of layoffs ever on Wednesday, affecting over 18,000 individuals.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Amazon mentioned a number of philanthropic activities it would keep supporting while announcing that it would donate to organisations that have used AmazonSmile “equal to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the programme.”
In response to a request for comment, Amazon cited a statement in which it claimed, for instance, that it planned to invest $2 billion in “affordable housing” in the cities where it operates and that the elimination of this programme would allow it to concentrate on other forms of charity.
However, a number of charities from all throughout the nation are shocked and incensed at Amazon for ending the initiative suddenly late on Wednesday.
Another animal-related charity, Crouton & Friends, a refuge in New York, tweeted that the gifts (it’s unclear when they were made) “meant the world.”
In a Facebook page for The Amputee Connection of Redlands, a California nonprofit that provides assistance to those who have lost limbs, Genna Nessel posted, “I’m very sad to see the funds disappear.”
“”NO, NO, NO!” You have no idea how much Amazon Smile has aided our small non-profit organisations! “Barbara Weber Seaman, who appears to be one of the Alabama-based founders of the charity organisation Felines Under Rescue, posted on Facebook.
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Customers also appeared to be irritated. On Amazon’s open Facebook page, a person wrote: “Every cent went to our neighbourhood organisations. Shame.”
Amazon “became hungry,” said Eli Coen, CEO of the e-commerce consulting firm Lero, in a text message to Entrepreneur.
Hogue also claims that despite the fact that it was somewhat more expensive, she still used Amazon to buy groceries or dog food because she appreciated the way Smile gave back to the community. However, she now intends to discontinue her own biweekly dog food purchase from Amazon and replace it with one from the online pet retailer Chewy. (Several people have stated that they will stop using services like Amazon Prime in comments on the business’ most recent Facebook post.)
PBSF has a wishlist on Amazon as well.
She added, “Now that I think about it, I might just cut that out and ask folks to bring us gift cards.