A Simple Way to Add to Your Donations with AmazonSmile

Chances are if the day has a special moniker, Americans like to spend money on it.

Black Friday. Shop Local Saturday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday.

The weeks following Thanksgiving are a period when money flows like a river. Nonprofits have carved out a nice little niche for themselves with the last day of the run. However, what if nonprofits didn’t have to be restricted to just one day? What if they could get a slice of just the $3.07 billion American spent online on Cyber Monday (which pales in comparison to the more than $14 billion that was spent on Nov. 11 for Singles Day in China).

Fortunately, nonprofits can take part in the spending spree through AmazonSmile. This program is set up for people to shop on Amazon just like normal, but the only difference is they use the address smile.amazon.com instead of www.amazon.com. It’s that simple.

If a person using AmazonSmile has your nonprofit designated as their charity, you will receive  0.5 percent of each purchase, which doesn’t include shipping and taxes. That amount might not seem like much, but it can add up if you have enough people participating. For example, you would receive almost $2 for every Playstation 4 purchased.

You can sign your nonprofit up for AmazonSmile in a few simple steps. Technically, your organization can receive donations if you don’t complete the registration process, but you won’t receive any deposits until you sign up. First, your organization must be an approved 501(c)3 on Guidestar. Then, designate an administrator for your organization to complete the forms and connect your bank account to receive deposits. That’s it.

Encourage your shoppers to share their purchases on social media to promote the program and increase awareness of this easy way to give to your organization. This program won’t be a major windfall for your nonprofit, but it is a nearly effortless way to earn a slice of all the billions of dollars being spent on Amazon.

Lincoln Arneal

Lincoln Arneal is a Senior Editor at Nonprofit Hub and brings loads of real world nonprofit experience to the team. He is the past executive director of a nonprofit that provides leadership development to junior high and high school students. He looks to bring the insights from his time forming, developing and running a nonprofit to help others in their quest to do good. Lincoln also has a legal background and has written for various newspapers (covering high school sports) for the past 15 years. You can follow Lincoln on Twitter at @NPLNK.

December 10, 2015

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