Inspiring Generosity


Don’t Cry for Me Amazon Smile

And just like that – poof – it’s gone. Amazon Smile is no more.
Amazon Smile was the charity arm of Amazon. You remember that quaint business, right? Amazon is the company that brings in $1.9 billion in revenue per day.
Truth be told, I am an Amazon Prime member. I actually make purchases from Amazon. There, I’ve admitted it.
That being said, Amazon Smile always stuck in my craw.
If you signed up for the Amazon Smile program, Amazon gave 0.5% of every dollar you spent to your designated organization.
Fun math facts:
0.5% of $100 is 50 cents;
0.5% of $1,000 is $5.
Over the course of ten years, Amazon Smile gave $400 million to non-profits in the U.S. Let that number sink in as you recall the $1.9 billion in revenue Amazon receives Every. Single. Day.
According to the Washington Post:

Yet only four groups — the ASPCA, St. Jude’s, the Nature Conservancy and the American Red Cross — received more than $1 million [annually].
Only 24 secured more than $100,000, while about 230 got more than $10,000.
Thousands of churches, neighborhood associations, animal shelters and little leagues received just $5...
[The Amazon spokesperson] said that while the company has donated $449 million to charities worldwide, the average donation to U.S. charities in 2021 was less than $230 (emphasis added).

For these small donations, the faithful gave free advertising to Amazon. In addition, it’s a good bet that some people who donated to their organization/congregation through Amazon Smile suppressed additional donations since they felt like they were “already giving.”
What to do now that Amazon Smile is gone?
Build relationships with businesses in your community. Maybe they’d like to sponsor one of your programs in exchange for some free publicity.
Build relationships with individuals. Think about the dreams and hopes of certain people in your congregation or organization and see if what they desire matches up with what you’re doing. Ask if they’d like to financially support your efforts.
Hone the message of who you are and what you do. Be proud and let the good news flow.
People loved the concept of Amazon Smile because it was passive income. Once it was set up, no work was needed and the money came in.
But it came at a cost.
You didn’t know who to thank for designating you as their Amazon Smile beneficiary. You gave Amazon free advertising. You weren’t building long-lasting relationships.
It’s time to make the investment in those relationships. See it as an opportunity.
It may take time (yes, building relationships takes time and effort), but the pay-off will be far better, more long-lasting, and richer in so many ways versus that meager 0.5% you were getting.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to order my baguette slippers from Amazon.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a Stewardship Consultant for the OR-ID Annual Conference. She is also a Senior Ministry Strategist with Horizons Stewardship. For 25 years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she has helped raise over three million dollars for numerous churches and non-profit organizations. She wants you to hear the original, the one and only, Patti LuPone singing Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.

You can reach Cesie at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook or at CesieScheuermann.com and one more…cesieds@horizons.net.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.