Amazon axing charity program AmazonSmile in latest shutdown

Amazon axing charity program AmazonSmile in latest shutdown

(GeekWire File Photo)

Amazon said Wednesday it is ending AmazonSmile, the program that launched in 2013 to let customers donate to charity when making eligible purchases.

The program did not “create the impact that we had originally hoped,” Amazon wrote in an email to customers. “With so many eligible organizations — more than 1 million globally — our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin,” it noted.

AmazonSmile will shut down Feb. 20. Amazon is making a one-time donation to participating charities equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022.

AmazonSmile has helped generate nearly $450 million for charities around the world.

It’s not clear if there were layoffs tied to the shutdown. Amazon on Wednesday began its 18,000-person layoff, the largest cuts in the company’s history.

Amazon has shut down several services and products over the past year as it looks to trim expenses amid the broader tech downturn. Others that got the axe include primary care service Amazon Care; a video calling-device for kids called Amazon Glow; and the Treasure Truck deals program. The company has also closed warehouses in the U.K.