Amazon announced that it plans to shut down its charity donation program, AmazonSmile, as part of its broader cost-cutting efforts. The program, which has been in operation since 2013, donates a percentage of eligible purchases on the website to the shopper’s chosen charity organization. Amazon has donated roughly $500 million to charities through the program.
The company cited the program’s lack of growth and impact as the reason for its closure. Amazon will instead focus on areas where it can “make meaningful change,” such as natural disaster relief, affordable housing initiatives, and community assistance programs. The program is set to be wound down by February 20th.
The decision to close AmazonSmile is part of a broader cost-cutting effort by the company, led by CEO Andy Jassy. Jassy has undertaken a comprehensive review of the company’s expenses in light of a worsening economic outlook and slowing growth in the retail division. As a result of this review, Amazon has initiated the largest layoffs in its history, instituted a hiring freeze across its corporate workforce and stopped expanding warehouses. The company has also stopped some experimental projects such as its telehealth service and a video calling device for children.
It’s heartening to know that even though AmazonSmile is planned to end, other programs like disaster relief and community assistance programs are still ongoing.