Cheshire Charities to lose out on vital donations after Amazon Smile closure

By Rich Wilcock

30th Jan 2023 | Charity

Cheshire charities are set to miss out on possibly thousands of pounds after Amazon announced it was set to shut down its AmazonSmile charity giving scheme.

Amazon announced late on Friday that it was due to shut the service which saw a small percentage of an item's sale price donated to a customers charity of their choosing. The closure was linked partially to Amazon's earlier announcement of cutting 18,000 jobs worldwide in a drive to cut costs.

However, for some Cheshire charities, it is a real blow to their fundraising efforts.

Luke Brightmore, Marketing Manager at Macclesfield based East Cheshire Hospice commented, "Times are tough for many at the moment, and with less disposable income available, people are not able to donate as much money to charity. So, it's disappointing that a global company like Amazon have chosen to end such an accessible fundraising scheme at this time."

He continued "It's a real shame that the initiative is coming to an end, but we're hugely thankful to all those who signed up and have helped to raise around £2,800.00 for East Cheshire Hospice in total through AmazonSmile."

East Cheshire Hospice in Macclesfield will be one of the Charities affected

His views were echoed by another Cheshire based Hospice, St Luke's, who are based in Winsford, who have used the scheme for several years.

Director of Income Generation at St Luke's Hospice, Claire Langston said.

"It's sad that Amazon have decided to cease operation of their AmazonSmile initiative, we are one of many local charities that have benefited. We would like to thank all those supporters who helped to raise vital funds for St Luke's through AmazonSmile."

Saskia Lightburn-Ritchie, CEO at My CWA (Cheshire Without Abuse) saw the AmazonSmile scheme as a vital fundraising channel, she commented: "As a small charity, we rely heavily on fundraising to simply exist. Every single penny donated to My CWA is spent on helping someone impacted by domestic abuse – whether that's providing a play-based therapy session for children, staffing our 24/7 helpline or providing essentials packs for families fleeing to our refuge - so to have a donation route like Amazon Smile completely removed is disappointing."

As of January, there were 823 registered charities based in Cheshire registered to the scheme with a varying degree of success for some. Julia Wood Chief Executive of South Cheshire Clasp – a charity based in Crewe said that they had not really benefitted from the scheme. She said "We were signed up to it, but we didn't make much at all from it as it wasn't very generous. We won't be missing it."

Amazon have defended the cancellation of the scheme. In a statement, they said "We will keep supporting thousands of charities across the UK in many ways and focus on the areas we believe can help create an even greater impact. Our long-term commitment to our communities remains the same - we are determined to help create a better world for our customers, our employees, and the communities we serve across the UK."

There are other avenues which people can donate to their favoured charity, as Luke Brightmore of East Cheshire Hospice pointed out.

"There are still plenty of ways that people can support the Hospice easily and without spending any extra money while shopping online. Platforms such as Give As You Live and Shop and Give cost nothing to use but enable you to raise money for charity when shopping online."


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