Did you see the news about AmazonSmile?

After 10 years, they’ve decided it doesn’t work for them. So they’re stopping the program on February 20, 2023 and they’re going a different way.

Did you share “AmazonSmile” links with your donors?

Did you include “Amazon Smile” links in your nonprofit emails and on your nonprofit’s website? Maybe in a “ways to help” or in your email newsletter footer? If you did, you were offering free advertising to Amazon.

Offering free advertising to a corporation is your choice. But ask yourself: Did you offer that kind of constant visibility to any of your fundraising event sponsors?

What if you’d been promoting your monthly giving program instead?

AmazonSmile, and programs like it, are incredibly bad returns on investment for nonprofits. These companies borrow your earned trust as a positive change maker and you give them free advertising in your publications. People who purchase leave your site and go to Amazon’s.

You’re actively encouraging people to support your nonprofit by leaving it’s site.

Amazon, and programs like theirs, get all the visibility for pennies on the dollar. They never become sponsors of your nonprofit. But you give them far more exposure than you would your premier gala sponsor.

And they can change the deal at any time. You have no say in the process.

Stop building your fundraising on borrowed land!

Your nonprofit doesn’t need gimmicks like Amazon Smile. As I said about AmazonSmile ten years ago, it only offers your nonprofit chump change.

Your cause is worthy of your donors’ attention. Instead of sending them off to a corporation’s website, invite them to join your nonprofit’s monthly givers club. Even a few dollars a month will generate more than AmazonSmile likely did for your nonprofit. And you’ll get to keep building relationships with the very people who wanted to support your nonprofit in the first place.

The best part? The program won’t change just because some corporation thinks it’s “spread too thin.” You get to decide what you want to do with your communications. The decision isn’t forced on you, or randomly announced by a surprise email in your inbox.

Have the courage to stop using gimmicks – ask directly

Your cause isn’t a gimmick, So your fundraising shouldn’t be a gimmick either. You do not have to apologize for asking for money.

Have the courage to ask without fear and stop building your fundraising on other people’s land!

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