15th June 2018

Amazon to triple UK charity donations through AmazonSmile for the next two weeks.

Starting today, 15th June through to 29th June, Amazon will donate 1.5% of the net purchase price on some products, rather than the usual 0.5%.

Using Amazon’s new charitable initiative, AmazonSmile, customers will be able to raise more money for UK charities over the next two weeks with no extra cost to customers or charities. AmazonSmile now has 6,000 national and local charities available for donations, which is a great opportunity for the charities but for donators as well.

Here at Big Cat, we think AmazonSmile is a fabulous new tool, demonstrating how larger corporations are able to make a real impact on the lives of those in need. We know first-hand how support from larger corporations helps our third sector and charity clients and believe this to be a great initiative from Amazon.

However, on the flipside there is another angle to be considered…

Firstly, people buying on AmazonSmile are not personally giving anything to charity, Amazon is. However, it still leaves consumers feeling good like they have given to charity. This could be considered problematic as it’s skewing consumers decision-making process at a charity’s expense. The consumers using AmazonSmile may not give to charity on another occasion because they believe they have already made their charitable contribution via their Amazon purchase which could mean other charities not on AmazonSmile will miss out. Similarly, the money given from AmazonSmile will probably not be as much as people would ordinarily give to charity – to give £20 to charity via AmazonSmile, you would have to spend £4,000 with Amazon.

Secondly, don’t get us wrong, it’s a great thing that Amazon are doing for charity – they don’t have to give to charity in this way, but will this CSR activity lead to the detriment of charities in the long run should charitable shopping replace people’s charitable contribution?

We’re keen to hear your thoughts!

Find out more about AmazonSmile’s two week 1.5% net purchase pricing here.

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