Making Charitable Donations Through Amazon

Chance-2_15pctLast February we were very fortunate to get a wonderful dog named Chance through an animal rescue outfit in the Washington DC area called PetConnect Rescue. They are a relatively small, mostly volunteer organization that was founded in 2005 to help the many animals that were left homeless and abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. They are also a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which is where Amazon and charitable donations come into the picture.

You may already know about the Amazon Smile program but I just learned about it from a note at the bottom of a Happy Thanksgiving email we got from PetConnect. Smile is a simple and easy way to donate to the non-profit of your choice. You sign on to the program, enter the name of a non-profit, shop at the Amazon Smile website which is identical to the regular Amazon site, and Amazon donates 0.5% of the cost of what you buy to the non-profit of your choice.  Amazon says they have almost a million 501(c)(3) non-profits in the program and they range from large-scale heavy hitters like Doctors Without Borders to small, local non-profits like PetConnect.

Amazon Smile 2We rely heavily on Amazon for many things because it’s usually cheap, shipping is free (with a Prime membership), and they deliver to your door so we don’t have to spend time, energy and hassle going to the store. We buy things like pet food, cat litter, household cleaning products, toiletries, paper products and plastic bags, some bulk food, and often clothes and games through Amazon and all of it is eligible for donation through Smile. If a product is eligible, you will see an indicator in the product description on Amazon’s Smile website like the one marked with the arrow in the picture above.

Not everything is eligible, however. Nutrition for Cyclists which I published last spring through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is not eligible and I cannot change this.  Monkey Books, my out-of-print book business, has thousands of titles listed on Amazon and none of these books are eligible either.  A quick check of several titles from the large publishing companies shows that their titles are also not eligible for donations.

Smile looks like an easy and painless way to help non-profits large or small. Here’s a link to the Smile website and here’s another to Amazon’s Smile FAQ. Check it out if it looks interesting to you.

About Kevin Murnane

I am a cognitive scientist, a freelance writer and author (Nutrition for Cyclists: Eating and Drinking Before, During and After the Ride), a musician (Parametric Monkey - stream on Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube), a bookstore owner (Monkey Books - first edition mystery, science fiction, fantasy and more, listed on ABE books, Amazon and Biblio), and a retired house painter, children's theater actor & owner, and university professor. I'm also a regular contributor to the technology section at Forbes and I write a cycling blog called Tuned In To Cycling. You can follow me on twitter @TheInfoMonkey and contact me at
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