Since announcing its biggest round of layoffs in company history, Amazon is shutting down its long-time donation program known as AmazonSmile.
AmazonSmile launched in 2013 and has remained a separate website that enables users to browse and buy items similar to the way they would do so on Amazon.com. Amazon would then keep track of everyone's purchases and immediately donate a portion of money on their behalf.
After a decade of redirecting 0.5% of every eligible product purchase, AmazonSmile has raised roughly $400 million for U.S. charities and $499 million globally. However, Amazon has stated that this number has not proven as effective as it had hoped.
“The program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped,” the company wrote. “With so many eligible organizations -- more than 1 million globally -- our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.” the company wrote.
The average donation to charities was less than $230, Amazon said.
Since deciding to shutter its donation program -- a move likely tied directly to the recent 18,000 layoffs -- Amazon will be offering eligible nonprofits a parting gift.
Charities that have participated in the AmazonSmile program will receive a one-time donation from the company that will be equivalent to three months of AmazonSmile donations.
Shedding donations for profit, the company will no longer have to pay employees working on the separate storefront and charity communications, and will no longer need to set aside 0.5% of AmazonSmile purchases.
According to its most recent earnings report, Amazon is not on the verge of bankruptcy, having announced $2.5 billion in operating income. The company has a market capitalization of $974 billion.
AmazonSmile will remain open until February 20, 2023.