With Amazon preparing to sunset the AmazonSmile program, many nonprofits are going to need to find new ways to offset the donations that they’ll no longer receive. Whether your nonprofit benefitted by a few dollars or a few hundred dollars, that lost revenue makes a difference. Here’s how nonprofits can fill the gap left behind by AmazonSmile.
What was the AmazonSmile program?
The AmazonSmile program was a way for Amazon shoppers to support nonprofit organizations while shopping online. A portion of the profits from each sale on Amazon went toward helping a nonprofit organization of the shopper’s choosing.
In total, the AmazonSmile program gave more than $449 million globally to nonprofit organizations, with around $400 million donated within the United States to more than one million eligible nonprofits.
How nonprofits can fill the gap
- Launch a recurring gift drive
- Create Amazon Wishlists
- Switch to ShopRaise
- Encourage matching gifts
- Host a small-scale fundraising event
- Give crowdfunding a try
1. Launch a recurring gift drive
AmazonSmile often donated in small amounts that nonprofits benefitted from over a longer period of time with regular shopping. This form of giving mimics the benefits of a recurring gift. Instead of losing out on that valuable revenue, consider launching a recurring gift drive to fill the gap left behind by AmazonSmile. Encourage donors to fill the gap by agreeing to donate a small amount on a monthly basis. Not only will this help boost your donor retention rate, but it can boost the amount of money your nonprofit receives as well. Monthly donors give 42% more in one year than one-time donors.
To launch a recurring gift drive, send an email that explains that AmazonSmile is going away and that your nonprofit needs to make up the difference in order to continue providing the same quality of service you always have. By telling a good story and crafting a compelling argument for support you can likely make up the difference left behind by the AmazonSmile program’s sunsetting.
2. Create Amazon wishlists
If your nonprofit organization used AmazonSmile funds to acquire items you need to fulfill your mission, consider switching gears and creating public Amazon wishlists and share those wishlists with your supporters on your website, social media, via text, and anywhere else your donors can see it.
Ask for items and explain why you need them. It may help to create a video that shows how you use the items that you ask for at your nonprofit organization. With a clear idea in mind of the need and why, your donors will be in a better position to be able to support you by purchasing items for your nonprofit directly.
3. Switch to ShopRaise
You may be surprised to find that AmazonSmile isn’t the only program of its kind out there. Now that it’s going away, many nonprofits are transitioning to services like ShopRaise to fill the gap that AmazonSmile will leave behind.
ShopRaise is free for both donors and nonprofits, so it will help to get started making a free profile on ShopRaise. Once you’ve created your profile, shoppers can go online and buy from over 1,700 retailers and your nonprofit can earn a percentage, up to 10%, on purchases.
4. Encourage matching gifts
Another way to fill the gap left by AmazonSmile is to encourage matching gifts. Set up a matching gifts integration on your donation form and encourage donors to see if their gift is eligible to be matched. This way, you receive twice the benefits of their gift while donors only have to make one donation. Not every donor is eligible for a matching gift though, so it helps to use this method of offsetting AmazonSmile in conjunction with other methods on this list.
5. Host a small-scale fundraising event
Most nonprofits received small donations from AmazonSmile. However, if your organization received a little more than average, it may help to host a small-scale fundraising event to offset the lost revenue from the AmazonSmile program. By hosting a small-scale fundraising event, you can rally your donors around your cause and give to make up the difference while keeping costs low. You don’t need to go all out with this fundraising event. Instead, save costs where you can so you’re able to make as big of a profit as possible on your event. Partner with a local community business if you can and split the revenue with them for the night. This is the easiest way to host a small-scale event without breaking the bank.
6. Give crowdfunding a try
Our last tip is to encourage donors to make up the difference by using crowdfunding. Set a goal that your nonprofit is working toward, or even set a goal for the amount you received annually from AmazonSmile, and encourage donors to help you reach that fundraising goal. Tie the goal to a tangible outcome so that donors can see the difference their gifts will make. Then, use crowdfunding to make it happen. Encourage your donors to ask friends and family to contribute to your cause. Not only can this help you bridge the gap left behind with the sunsetting of AmazonSmile, but it can also introduce you to new donors that can give for years to come.
While the loss of AmazonSmile is a blow to nonprofits, there are plenty of ways you can fill the gap left behind by this program. With a couple of tweaks to your fundraising plan, you should be able to make up and potentially exceed the revenue that you’re losing when AmazonSmile sunsets.