- Amazon is shutting down its charity donation program, AmazonSmile, as part of cost-cutting efforts.
- AmazonSmile has donated roughly $500 million to charities since its launch in 2013.
- Amazon will continue to invest in natural disaster relief, affordable housing initiatives and community assistance programs.
Amazon announced on Wednesday that it will be shutting down its charity donation program, AmazonSmile, as part of the company's broader cost-cutting efforts. The program, which allows shoppers to choose a charity organization and donate a percentage of eligible purchases made on the site, has donated roughly $500 million to charities since its launch in 2013.
However, Amazon stated in a notice to customers posted on its website that after almost a decade, the program did not grow to create the impact that they had originally hoped for. With over a million eligible organizations globally, the company found that their ability to make an impact was often spread too thin. The average donation to charities was less than $230.
Despite the decision to shutter AmazonSmile, the company stated that it will continue to invest in areas where it can make a meaningful change such as natural disaster relief, affordable housing initiatives, and community assistance programs.
This move comes as CEO Andy Jassy conducts a review of the company's expenses due to a worsening economic outlook and slowing growth in its retail division. Amazon has also recently laid off employees and instituted a hiring freeze across its corporate workforce. Additionally, the company has paused warehouse expansion and shuttered some experimental projects such as its telehealth service and a quirky, video-calling device for kids, as part of efforts to rein in costs.
The discontinuation of the AmazonSmile program is likely to be met with disappointment from the numerous charitable organizations that have benefited from the program over the years. However, Amazon's decision to focus on other areas where it can make a meaningful impact is understandable given the current economic conditions and the need for cost-cutting measures.