There Is Still Good Reason To Smile!
The announcement in January by Amazon that it would be discontinuing its AmazonSmile program came as a surprise and disappointment to many. For customers signed up for the Smile program, Amazon had – since 2013 – donated 0.5% of the transaction value to a registered charity of that customer’s choice.
Amazon justified its decision by arguing that with one million registered non-profit recipients around the world, its impact had remained behind the organization’s expectations. Another explanation could, of course, be that after AmazonSmile attracted so many new customers, they have now decided to simply cut costs and increase margins by a further 0,5%. Whatever the real reason, the program ended on 20 February 2023.
I was never a big fan of the BNI Foundation promoting AmazonSmile to raise funds for us, because I truly believe that BNI members should be buying whatever they need from other BNI members, even if it ends up costing a bit more. After all, BNI is all about investing in relationships and we are not likely to build a relationship with a Member from Amazon anywhere in the world any time soon.
Having said that, most of us resort to buying from them from time to time, because they are quick and (normally) reliable. And knowing that every time we spend money with them a small part went to – in my case – the BNI Foundation made giving them our business feel just a little bit more acceptable.
Of course, realistically speaking, the benefit was actually very small. To raise $100 dollars in donation income, BNI members needed to spend $20.000 AND remember to purchase through the Smile.Amazon portal, not through Amazon itself! In 2022, we received a grand total of $550, so maybe Amazon was right about the impact not living up to expectations!
So why is there still good reason to smile? Because generating that income required purchases of $110.000 and there are a lot cheaper, simpler, and more effective ways of helping the BNI Foundation to support children and education than that. A monthly donation of $50 or $100 dollars or more will get you recognition on our website and there are also three levels of contribution to the Misner Endowment Fund, which mean you will be helping children for ever!
Any amount of money means that we can fund more projects than would otherwise be possible, but in the spirit of Givers Gain®, it doesn’t even have to be money! Through Business Voices™ there are multiple ways for you to help children in your local community get a better start in life, not least Future Leaders Week, which takes place from 15 – 21 October 2023. For further information, or just to talk to us about the BNI Foundation and how we can help you to grow your business, your chapter and your region, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, yours still smiling 😊
Kevin Barber, March 17, 2023