Amazon Smile is a strong example of a new form of corporate giving. Workplace giving can take many different forms, including peer to peer fundraising and events, to get donations for local charities. Many of these programs evolve into long-term partnerships between nonprofits and businesses. Some companies take it a step further and allow their customers to give back while making a purchase. This can increase revenue for a business and lead to more loyal customers.
Consumers want to shop at retailers that have sustainable practices and make donations to nonprofits. This can even be a factor in where people choose to buy. In fact, 91 percent of consumers will switch to brands that support causes they care about.
Amazon has found a way to take some of the guilt out of online shopping through Amazon Smile. This initiative allows consumers to choose a charity of their choice and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of the price of any eligible purchases to the organization. Amazon Smile has specifically partnered with organizations such as charity:water, the Wounded Warrior Project and the World Wildlife Fund. The retailer also gives people the option to make an additional donation of $5 when they shop. Currently there are thousands of 501(c)3 organizations registered with Amazon Smile.
Consumers feel good about giving back while purchasing things they intended to buy anyway. This has had the benefit of increasing Amazon’s revenue since the initiative began in October 2013, according to the Huffington Post. The retail giant reported that it has given millions of dollars to thousands of different charities. Some experts in the industry predict innovative new fundraising strategies like this will change the culture of charitable giving.
Register your nonprofit and promote Amazon Smile purchases
Your donors and supporters are already using Amazon to make purchases. Register your nonprofit for Amazon Smile and encourage your supporters to use smile.amazon.com and select your organization as the beneficiary for future Amazon purchases!
How Amazon Smile could redefine corporate giving
Historically, corporations only account for a very small portion of overall giving totals. However, this could change now that we’ve entered an age of digital fundraising. While Amazon clearly has the resources and the brand awareness to put such a corporate giving program in place and make it a success, this kind of initiative may not be within reach for smaller companies. However, you can follow the example and create a partnership with a local organization. It can spur employee engagement to take votes or suggestions on which charities to support.
Most importantly, any partnership can be supported through mobile giving. Amazon Smile demonstrates the power that online commerce now holds, and this extends to charitable donations. Online giving is growing faster than many other channels, and the strength of this fundraising tactic should not be underestimated.
Charity partnerships can be mutually beneficial for both companies and nonprofits. Businesses can gain new customers or deepen loyalty with existing ones and charities can attract new donors who may not have been familiar with their causes before. In addition, these types of campaigns can improve public perception of a brand. With the number of consumers who would switch to an ethical brand, this should be a consideration for decision-makers.
By Sean MacNeill, MobileCause CEO