Amazon Smile is a quick and easy way fundraise for your nonprofit. Through the Amazon Smile program, your nonprofit can earn micro-donations from purchases your supporters make on Amazon. When your supporters visit smile.amazon.com at the beginning of their shopping trip, Amazon Smile donates roughly 0.5% of a their cart to the charity of their choice (that’s you!).
It’s worth ensuring that your organization is set up for Amazon Smile before big shopping days, such as major holidays and Amazon’s annual Prime Day. Amazon Smile is a stellar opportunity to engage in nonprofit fundraising year round with little to no effort.
Below are the guidelines for program admission:
- Organizations must be registered and in good standing with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) to be eligible to participate.
- Organizations must be public charitable organizations (not private foundations) and may not be supporting organizations, unless identified specifically as a Type I, Type II, or functionally integrated Type III supporting organization.
- Eligible charitable organizations must also be located in one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Organizations must submit bank account information online to receive donation payments.
- Organizations that engage in, support, encourage, or promote intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering, or other illegal activities are not eligible to participate. Amazon relies on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Southern Poverty Law Center to determine which registered charities fall into these groups.
- Charitable organizations must also adhere to the Amazon Smile Participation Agreement to maintain eligibility. Charitable organizations may choose not to participate in Amazon Smile at any time.
- Although Amazon aims to include only charitable organizations that are in good standing and do not engage in any of the activities described above, we cannot guarantee the good standing and/or conduct of any charitable organization
Your Amazon Smile profile is pulled from directly from GuideStar. Be sure to log into your GuideStar profile and ensure your organization’s address, mission and other relevant details are up to date.
Amazon Smile in Action on Social Media
Once you’ve registered for Amazon Smile and set up your account, we suggest that you write up a guide for your followers on how to make use of the program and share it via email, social media and on your website. A great example is to share via Facebook or Instagram before the holiday season, just in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.
Be sure to include the following information in your how-to guide:
- When first shopping on smile.amazon.com, encourage your supporters to choose your nonprofit name from the search bar.
- Encourage your supporters to save smile.amazon.com in their computer browser to create a shortcut for their next shopping trip.
- Each subsequent trip to shop.amazon.com will automatically donate 0.5% of each purchase.
In this example, you can see a Facebook user encouraging her network to sign up for Amazon Smile. She mentions Amazon Prime Day in her opening statement, which is a topic many in her network are already gearing up for, and then succinctly requests that they make use of Smile for the charity she represents. The link description from Amazon in the post is a great help in describing the program, and Facebook’s layout for donations makes it very easy for a user to discern that this is a way they can support a cause.
Big shopping events like Amazon Prime Day come once a year, but Amazon Smile can be utilized every day to help fundraise for your nonprofit. Take this chance to drum up support and interest for your cause by including Smile in your nonprofit marketing plan! Get started on Amazon Smile or check out our services for nonprofits to learn how we can help you reach your marketing and fundraising goals.