Nonprofit Basics: Amazon Smile

Both online shopping and online fundraising have grown in popularity in recent years. More than 268 million people in the United States shopped online in 2022 alone, and 54% of donors worldwide prefer to donate online

With online shopping and online giving soaring in popularity, it makes sense that nonprofit organizations would attempt to find a solution to bring online shopping into the online fundraising world in an effort to earn more donations. That’s why many nonprofits have combined those two trends to bring in revenue through programs like Amazon Smile.

What is Amazon Smile?

Until its discontinuation in early 2023, Amazon Smile was a program that allowed shoppers to give back to their favorite charities while making everyday online purchases through Amazon. Shoppers could give to nonprofits through purchases that they were going to make anyway, regardless of whether they were able to make an additional donation. It was also an easy way for nonprofits to earn donations from their loyal supporters, many of whom are happy to make additional donations through fundraising programs like this if given the opportunity.

Once an organization registered with Amazon Smile, supporters would start shopping for their cause, and a portion of their total sales went back to the nonprofit of their choice.

Benefits of online shopping fundraiser programs like Amazon Smile

Although Amazon Smile has come to an end, it isn’t the only program of its kind that nonprofits can participate in. Here are some reasons your nonprofit may consider signing up for an online shopping fundraiser program:

  1. It’s unique. Your nonprofit holds various fundraisers each year to encourage donations and inspire support. Take advantage of this creative fundraising idea that’s free, easy to set up, and brings in year-round revenue.
  2. It’s passive. Amazon Smile is considered a “passive fundraiser” because supporters are taking actions they would have taken anyway and can contribute to your nonprofit without a second thought. However, you should still market your fundraiser to continuously remind supporters to access the resource.
  3. Supporters feel like they’re making a difference. Online shopping fundraisers allow supporters to make a positive impact through their purchases, meaning that these supporters are not only gaining the benefits of whatever item they’ve purchased, but also the benefit of helping their community through your nonprofit. Plus, many people enjoy looking into ways they can shop ethically, and shop-for-a-cause programs are great ways to do so. 



Amazon Smile is a simple, fast fundraising idea to allow supporters to benefit your cause through shopping. 


Whether your nonprofit is new to the online shopping fundraiser space or participated in Amazon Smile and is wondering what next steps to take, be aware that there are other similar fundraising programs available with connections to different networks of retailers. Your nonprofit should do research and carefully consider which shopping donation option is right for your organization.

Other Resources to Explore

Nonprofit Basics – Learn more nonprofit management essentials by exploring other expert resources.

Passive Fundraising: How to Earn Extra Revenue [+5 Ideas] – Explore strategies to make passive fundraisers, including online shopping fundraiser programs, more successful.

Shop for a Cause: How to Give Back While Shopping Online – Discover more ways for your nonprofit’s supporters to further your mission through their everyday online purchases.