Supporting a cause you care about can be simple and stress-free, even if you don't have a ton of spare time or money. Even though the Amazon Smile program has been discontinued, many of the non-profits that make a difference in the world have Amazon charity wish lists that you can access.
Choose a charity that reflects your values, find their wish list online, and make small or large purchases to fulfill their needs. Amazon takes care of shipping it to them. It's a totally doable good deed that's not a super big deal for you but potentially game-changing for someone else.
How to Find a Charity Wish List on Amazon
The AmazonSmile program made it easy to support charities with your purchases and buy off their lists, but that program was discontinued by Amazon. However, you can still look up a list, even though the process is far from ideal. Here's how:
- Go to Find a Registry or Gift List on Amazon.
- Just type the name of the charity you want to support into the search field. Select the type of list, which will usually be "custom gift list."
- If the charity has a list, it should appear. However, it's not the best search system. Try different words in the charity's name if you are having trouble finding the list.
- Select items you want to buy from the list, and Amazon will take care of shipping it to the charity.
The problem with this method is that you need to know the name the charity is using or the name of their list. It's actually way easier if you ask the charity for a link to their list and shop that way.
Example of How to Donate Using a Wish List
If you know the name of the charity and have gotten a link to their wish list off their website, through their newsletter, or any other way, the process for buying off the wishlist is pretty simple. Still, it helps to have an example.
We'll use the example of JZips, a charity that creates shirts for kids fighting cancer. The shirts have zippers that allow access to a port without the child having to change into a hospital gown. To make these shirts, JZips needs the shirt itself and the zippers, so they have these items on their Amazon wish list. Here's how you shop off it:
- Go to the link provided by the charity. In this case, you'd go to the JZips Amazon wish list.
- Think about how much you'd like to spend and what you want to buy to help. In this example, we're buying a T-shirt for a toddler boy.
- Click "Add to Cart."
- When you're done shopping for the charity, click "Proceed to Checkout."
- Be sure you select the charity's address from the options when you check out. Otherwise, the item will be sent to you.
- Select your payment method and check out. You're done!
How Charities and Non-Profits Can Set Up Wish Lists
If you are helping set up Amazon wish lists for non-profits or charities, the process is actually pretty easy. You'll need a few details about your charity and an Amazon account linked to the charity. Here's how to do it:
- Log in to your charity's Amazon account.
- Click on Create a Registry or Gift List.
- Choose the type of list you want to create. If there's no special event, choose "celebrating a different occasion."
- Enter the charity's name. Make sure you use the exact name so people can find it when they search. Remember that search is a little clunky.
- Name your list in a clear way too, so it's easy for people search for it. Add other details like a date or place if that applies.
- Start adding items to the list.
Even if you set this up perfectly, Amazon charity lists aren't easy to find when searching. It's a good idea to send out a link to your list when you're done setting it up.
Do Good and Feel Good With Your Shopping
Donating to non-profits can take a lot of forms, but few are as easy and stress-free as buying directly off the charity's Amazon wish list. Plus, there's the added benefit of knowing exactly what your donation will do, since you're buying something specific for a cause. You can't beat shopping that will do good and make you feel good about your contribution at the same time.