Now that AmazonSmile closed many nonprofits are left in a lurch with a fundraising deficit to boot. Not only was the timing of the program’s closing not ideal, but the specific funnel Smile’s funds bolstered–unrestricted funds– are the hardest to raise due to myths regarding operating expenses. If you find yourself in this subset of organizations reeling from the program's closure, it is important to consider the options available to continue to shop with purpose and support your charity or cause.
What was AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile was a program launched by Amazon in 2013 to help nonprofits raise money through customers making purchases from the site. It promised to donate .5% of each purchase to the customer's chosen charity or organization. While this seemed like a noble effort, it was plagued with obstacles from the start. Customers could only earn contributions for charities through a specialized Amazon link and were unable to shop with other online retailers. This limited ethical shopping options for those who wanted to contribute to nonprofits and support their cause in an impactful way. Fortunately, there are alternatives to AmazonSmile available that can help people support their favorite charities while they shop.
Why did AmazonSmile Close?
Based on statements released by Amazon, the company felt “the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped.” Not surprisingly, many organizations felt differently and voiced concern, anger, and frustration over the loss of funds after having depended on the money from AmazonSmile for years. There was enough ire that petitions started popping up in protest of its closing.
The company did give organizations a month's notice of the closure, but unfortunately it was timed poorly in January after most nonprofits have already set their operating budgets for the year. In addition, they failed to offer alternative solutions to their customers, leaving those who had depended on Amazon Smile high and dry.
The good news is that there are other alternatives to Amazon for shopping and donating to your favorite charity. ShopRaise is one of the best alternatives to Amazon for shopping because it offers more stores and you can earn a higher contribution rate with each purchase. Plus, ShopRaise customers can earn even more when they purchase gift cards and then use them to make purchases through the apps. ShopRaise offers a great solution to both charities looking to fill the void left by AmazonSmile as well as individual shoppers who still want to support the cause they care about most with their shopping.
How Does ShopRaise Work?
ShopRaise is an app that allows you to shop with purpose and make a bigger impact than you did with AmazonSmile. It is available on both desktop and mobile devices, so charities and supporters can earn donations when they shop. Once you download the ShopRaise app, you can select the charity you want to support (or create your own) and start shopping. Charities are able to add ShopRaise to their marketing materials to let supporters know how to shop to support them. With over 1,000 stores, and hundreds of gift cards you are certain to find the same products you purchased on AmazonSmile, but with even higher donation rates.
Once you are signed up with ShopRaise, you don't have to do any extra work. ShopRaise provides custom marketing materials for your organization to use so you can easily promote ShopRaise to your supporters in addition to other resources. You can also use the dashboard to track your results and see how much your charity is earning. If you are an individual supporter, you can go about your usual business still supporting the cause you love even while using coupons and deals and never paying extra.
Which Stores are on ShopRaise?
ShopRaise offers more than 1,000 national retailers for charities and supporters to earn donations for their causes. The retailers include just about every big box store you can think of as well as hundreds of smaller shops.
ShopRaise also has a robust gift card program that allows you to earn for your charity when you buy a gift card and again when you use that gift card to make purchases. With ShopRaise, you can meet all of your shopping needs–from housekeeping supplies to toys and sports equipment for your children, to furniture and supplies for your home office, to travel and wellness. Your weekly online shopping can really start to make an impact with the help of ShopRaise.
When you multiply those effects my months and compound it by users, the impact is massive.
How Much Does ShopRaise Contribute?
ShopRaise offers customers the chance to earn anywhere from 1% to 10% and even more if they purchase a gift card before they shop. ShopRaise works with more stores than AmazonSmile, so you can feel confident knowing you're still making an impact on the causes you care about, while also getting all of your necessary items. Whether it's window cleaner or paper towels, flights, hotel stays, rental cars, that luxury Coach bag or pair of boots you've been eyeing - all of those small everyday purchases and bigger less frequent ones add up to make a big difference to the charity you care about most.
How Can I Maximize my Ethical Shopping?
To make an even bigger impact with your online ethical shopping, consider the idea of compound impact as outlined in a case study by a ShopRaise user. This level of ethical shopping isn't for everyone. But truly, it take mere moments to alter behaviors that can improve our quality of life in every corner of this country
However you approach your regular online shopping is entirely up to you. It’s imperative that you know that even with AmazonSmile closing there are options available for you to shop with purpose and earn for the nonprofits who accomplish critical work in our communities, making a lasting impact where we live, work, and play.