Amazon is shutting down its AmazonSmile charity program next month. The closure coincides with a variety of cost-cutting efforts announced by the e-commerce giant that includes laying off thousands of employees.
The AmazonSmile program functioned like an overlay for the standard Amazon site, allowing users to shop as normal, but select a charity to which the e-retailer donated 0.5 percent of the cost of all eligible products. Amazon claims that over $377 million has been donated through the scheme since it launched in 2013, but in its closure notice suggested this was not sufficient to keep the scheme running.
AmazonSmile will shut down on February 20th
“After almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped,” the company said in a press release. “With so many eligible organizations — more than 1 million globally — our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.”
AmazonSmile will shut down on February 20th. Charities enrolled in the program will still be able to receive additional donations until the program closes, and Amazon said it will be making a one-time donation to participating charities “equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program.”
The closure of AmazonSmile follows recent efforts by Amazon to cut back on expenses after becoming the first public company to lose $1 trillion in market value in November 2022. Amazon announced plans to cut more than 18,000 jobs the same month and has wound down other operations over the past year, including closing its Amazon Care telehealth service and Fabric.com retail site, in addition to scrapping plans to build 42 new facilities.