GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Nonprofits across the country will soon lose out on funds brought in by the AmazonSmile program. The program allowed shoppers to choose a charity to receive a small portion of eligible purchases. Amazon announced in January that the program would wind down by Feb. 20. 

“AmazonSmile was a piece of how we cover 100 percent of our operating budget. It’s a small piece, but anytime you lose any piece, you still have to make that up,” said Ellen Carpenter, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities West Michigan

RMHCWM has participated in the program since 2015.  

“It has meant thousands of dollars to us over time,” Carpenter said. “When you’re a small organization, community support is critical, and that can take the form of many different things, but through Amazon, we’re able to provide all kinds of items that our families need.”

AmazonSmile allowed donors to purchase things from the nonprofit’s wish list and ship them directly to the house while also having a portion of sales go directly to the organization. Although the wish list will still remain, that extra donation piece will have to be made up somehow. 

“We found out the program was ending online like everyone else. They didn’t give a lot of notice,” Carpenter explained. “It’s a surprise, and so when it is a surprise, then we have to kind of scramble to make that up.”

Karen Sadler started the Michael Sadler Foundation after losing her son in a car accident in 2016. Now entering its sixth year, the foundation aims to honor his legacy by providing scholarships, hosting leadership conferences, and offering opportunities for youth mentorship. 

“We have relied strictly on donations to date. Mostly private donations. We have wonderful supporters that believe in our mission that believe in Mike’s legacy, and so we’re grateful for every donation that comes in. Amazon smile is one of the donations that we did rely on until recently, so we’re sorry to see that go,” Sadler said. 

Over the past six years, Sadler said the foundation had received an average of approximately $1,000 per year. 

“(It’s) a lot when you consider what portion of every sale that somebody buys from Amazon comes to us. It’s very small, but it accumulates.”

Although disappointed by the decision, Sadler and Carpenter said there are still ways for the community to support these missions, whether it be a financial donation or simply volunteering their time. Shoppers can continue to support the nonprofits through AmazonSmile through Feb. 20. After that, there is always the option to donate directly to the charity of your choice. 

Amazon, which launched AmazonSmile in 2013, said it would provide a one-time donation equivalent to three months of earnings in 2022 to charities that have been a part of the program.

The company said it will “continue supporting a wide range of other programs that help thousands of charities and communities.”