Shop at Amazon? Do .5% Better.

Amazon Smile will donate money to charity when you make a purchase

FYI: This week is going to feature some shorter posts as I spend time with family in town for Thanksgiving. Please have a safe, fun, and happy holiday weekend if you’re in the US.

As one of the largest companies in the world, chances are pretty good that you have shopped at Amazon at least once. As Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals roll around, many will take to their computers and find sweet details on the gigantic retailer.

If you’re planning on shopping, PLEASE consider doing 0.5% better with your dollars. There’s no downside to you.

Do 0.5% Better as a Shopper

If you’re a shopper, swap out your bookmarks and instead go to and log in there. When you shop, 0.5% of your purchased will be donated to a charity of your choice.

They have spotlight charities available, but you can also search for your own preferred organization.

Do .5% better with Amazon Smile
You can choose from a spotlight charity or search for your own.

Use the site like normal – Amazon will take care of the rest. Easy.

Do 0.5% Better as a Blogger/Amazon Associate

This is my PSA to all bloggers who use the Amazon Associate program: STOP SHORTENING YOUR URLS. When you’re generating your URL, lots of bloggers will use the shortened version. Doing so makes it impossible for your readers to use Amazon Smile as well as your link.

However, if you use the long link, you can simply replace the “www” with “smile” and all will be golden in the world.

You won’t receive any less commission – it works exactly the same for you.

Any purchases will be eligible for Amazon Smile as well.

Spread the Word

By itself your purchases are a small amount. Less than 1% of purchases from Amazon are run through Amazon Smile. In 2015, the program donated about $13 million to charities. Raising awareness to others can help increase this number over time.

Please share this with your friends, family, and other bloggers. It’s a small behavior change, but if you shop at Amazon it could be as simple as updating your bookmark.

Don’t Neglect Other Charitable Giving

Donating through Amazon Smile is great if you’re already planning on purchasing things. But it shouldn’t be a replacement for other charitable giving.

As we head into Thanksgiving this week in the US I’m reminded that I have a lot to be thankful for, including our ability to help others when needed.

If you’re looking at Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals on Amazon, please do what you can to support good causes as well.

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  1. Dave, thanks for this reminder. I’ve been meaning to make this change! Here is my small pitch 🙂 Please donate to Alzheimer’s research. (use charity navigator to pick a responsible charity of course) Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of death among older Americans – causes immeasurable pain and suffering to families, yet is severely underfunded. It is the only 10 killer in the US that does not have a cure or reliable treatment.

  2. Hey Dave!

    100% agree. I signed up some time ago and Amazon somehow put it into my Amazon browser extension, such that when I click it, it automatically goes to Amazon Smile.

    That 1% figure needs to be improved! It looks like well over a hundred million dollars are not being donated, that could be.

  3. You answered one question about Amazon Smile I’ve been wondering for a while – whether or not I would get the same commission or any commission at all. Since you’ve confirmed that indeed I will get the exact same commission, it’s time for me to go and change all my Amazon links!

  4. Good stuff, Hoss! Thanks for sharing – I hadn’t heard of this before. We have some dollars left to donate this year, but I like the idea of the more automatic approach. Happy Thanksgiving, Dave.

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