Shopping and doing good - that's the idea behind "Charity Shopping" and the Amazon donation programme "Smile". Thanks to Smile, charitable organisations based in Germany and Austria have already received over 7 million euros in donations. Swiss organisations do not benefit from the windfall. The Migros shops Digitec and Galaxus will at least soon start a voluntary CO2 compensation for purchases.

Amazon is the most valuable corporation in the world. The online shop started in 1994 in a garage as an online bookseller and is now a general shop with 229 million products. According to the study "E-commerce market Switzerland 2019", is the leader in the Swiss e-commerce market with sales of 676 million euros. This is followed by with 667 million and in third place already with over 402 million euros.

Fundraising with charity shopping
Almost all non-profit organisations depend on donations to fulfil their purposes. In addition to the well-known forms of fundraising, charity shopping has been added to the list for some time. Amazon also offers such a "shop and donate" programme. With "Amazon Smile" you can also relieve your social conscience while shopping. Amazon Germany boss Ralf Kleber said at the launch of the offer in Germany and Austria in November 2016: "Customers can support their local football club, an animal shelter or large, internationally active organisations. They don't have to reach into their own pockets, but are allowed to let Amazon reach into their pockets." Here's how it works: Amazon gives registered organisations half a percent of the purchase sum of their qualified "" purchases. Swiss Amazon users can also participate in donation shopping. There are no additional costs for customers or organisations. For example, UN Refugee Aid, the German partner of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), received more than 100,000 euros from Amazon in 2018.

Beneficiary organisation remains stored in the profile
The amount of the donation depends on customer behaviour. On the first visit to Amazon customers can select a preferred organisation. Amazon saves this selection. When a customer registered for Smile then makes a purchase on, Amazon collects 0.5% of the value of the total purchases for the selected organisation. The selection can be changed at any time in the user profile. Every purchase must start on, otherwise it does not count towards a donation.

Organisations must register for Smile participation since 2019
According to Amazon spokesperson Ole Wulff, more than 20,000 organisations from Germany and Austria are active in the German Smile programme. Wulff says: "With the large selection of organisations, since 2019 we only show those organisations that have actively chosen to participate in the programme." According to Wulff, Smile also still exists in the UK and the US. According to Wulff, non-profit organisations worldwide have received more than 148 million US dollars in donations to date. In the German programme, it was over 7 million euros. The Eligibility of an organisation lets Amazon through Stifter-helfen check, an IT portal for non-profit organisations.

Swiss organisations are not involved
The big catch with Amazon Smile: So far, Swiss organisations cannot participate. Amazon Germany would not say whether the Smile programme will also be introduced in Switzerland. On Swiss sales platforms, one searches in vain for charity shopping partnerships. What has become indispensable for online shopping in Germany hardly seems to exist here. At least the small Swiss online shop "Grablichter" has a charity shopping function. The second largest Swiss online shop Digitec, a subsidiary of Migros, does not rely on charity shopping, but in the first half of 2020, according to media spokesman Alex Hämmerli, it will bring "voluntary CO2 compensation for online purchases at Digitec and Galaxus." The money will go to a Swiss CO2 compensation provider and indirectly to environmental projects selected by Digitec/Galaxus.

Bernhard Bircher Suits, FundCom

Charity shopping: Support nature with Migros purchases

In Germany, in addition to Amazon Smile, there are several platforms through which organisations can benefit from third-party purchases - such as Education donors, boost, easybenefit, gooding, helpfreely, helpshops, Schulengel and shop+. The principle is similar everywhere. A person registers on such an online platform and chooses an organisation, which must be registered there. The consumer then selects the desired online shop via this platform and makes a purchase there. If the purchase is made, a commission flows to the website from which the customer accessed the website, i.e. to the platform. The platform then passes on part of the commission to the desired non-profit organisation. The catch here: All the German platforms mentioned are not intended for Swiss organisations.

"Nature Heros" at Migros Charity shopping, however, takes place in a slightly different form in Switzerland. At Migros, in spring 2020, all customers will be able to use their full collection card as part of the "Nature Hero" in exchange for a donation to a Swiss non-profit organisation. Among them are the water protection organisation "Aqua viva», «Wild Bee & Partner», «Birdlife Switzerland" and the "Mountain Forest Project». Anyone who donates their collection card is making a contribution to the preservation of biodiversity in Switzerland. Posted in Donations

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