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Amazon is shutting down the AmazonSmile charity program in February

Amazon plans to discontinue AmazonSmile, its gift program that allows shoppers to donate to their favorite charities with every purchase, by February 20, 2023. In its announcement, the e-commerce giant said that “the program has not grown to create the impact that [it] had originally hoped” nearly a decade after it was launched. Apparently, the program’s ability to make a meaningful impact was hampered by the fact that it has over 1 million eligible organizations worldwide. Donations were often spread too thin.

Every time people use the AmazonSmile website to make a purchase, the company donates 0.5 percent of what they paid to charity at no extra cost to them. As a parting donation to participating organizations, Amazon will give them the equivalent of three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program. Going forward, the company will focus its charitable work “on other areas where it can make meaningful change”[ads1];. It gave some examples of future plans, such as investing $2 billion to build and preserve affordable housing, funding computer science curricula for 1 million students in thousands of schools and providing 12 million meals this year through food banks.

Amazon did not explain what it meant by the program not making a meaningful impact. In accordance Bloomberg through, the company has donated nearly $500 million to charities over the past 10 years through AmazonSmile, but the average amount per donation is only $230 due to the large number of participating organizations. still, critics can’t help but wonder if this is just one of Amazon’s cost-saving tactics.

If you recall, Amazon recently announced that they are expanding their planned job cuts to eliminate over 18,000 roles. Amazon was one of the companies that benefited from the COVID shutdowns in recent years and had to hire thousands of new people to keep up with demand. Consumers eventually returned to their pre-pandemic shopping habits, and Amazon (with its bottom line affected by the shift) reportedly conducted cost-cutting reviews to determine which units weren’t making money. As a result, Amazon froze hiring, closed brick-and-mortar stores, and shuttered business units, in addition to cutting jobs.

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