Shopping online has been made alarmingly easy, and with just a few clicks, you can nab that tan and gray tote bag that finally went on sale. (Not me, a friend.) Amazon in particular makes spending money entirely too easy, but now, they're doing it for a good cause. Now, you can donate to charity using Amazon Alexa, according to a video from Mashable. Next time you're stocking up on cheap make-up and relationship books (not me, a friend), consider throwing a few bucks to an organization fighting for a good cause.
They're calling it Alexa Donations, and it uses the payment information you already have saved in your Amazon account. The way it works is simple, not unlike everything else Amazon offers. According to the video, you can donate anywhere between $5 and $5,000. Like any other command you'd give Alexa, you tell her which charity you'd like to donate to and how much, or simply say you'd like to make a donation. As of right now, there are around 50 charities to choose from — including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the ASPCA, and the American Heart Association. Gearbrain says the American Cancer Society, Comic Relief, Feeding America, the One Laptop Per Child initiative, American Red Cross and the Wikimedia Foundation are also on the list. This is just the beginning, and Amazon has plans to keep growing.
My first reaction upon hearing this was, "Great, I'm going to be that one idiot who makes a casual joke about donating $5,000 to charity and Alexa will overhear it and suck my bank account dry." If you're like me and you're worried about accidentally donating, rest assured Amazon has your back. Fortune notes there are a few safeguards in place that will confirm you want to make the donation.
According to research from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners released in 2017, Amazon Prime members spend around $1,300 a year, while non-Prime members spend around $700 a year. Considering our purchasing habits, it's safe to say there is plenty of room in there for charitable donations.
While many, if not most of us, are on some kind of budget, Americans still have an interest in donating. According to research from USA Today, for instance, in 2014, people with an adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $75,000 donated about $2,970, or 4.8 percent of their AGI. A 2015 illustration from Time also shared some interesting insight: while 40 percent of Americans donated less than $500 that year, 12 percent donated $500 to $999, 14 percent donated $1,000 to $2,499, and 34 percent donated $2,500 or more.
Amazon is clearly on a mission to make our lives as easy and convenient as possible. You probably caught the news about Amazon Go, the cashier-less store where there is no checking out, no waiting in lines, and no need to speak to another human soul. All you do is walk in, grab your items, and walk out. If you think this sounds like an introvert's paradise, you would be correct. If you think this sounds like the perfect opportunity to shoplift, well, it might be (but probably not).
And then there's Alexa. Good old Alexa. We have Alexa in our home. We politely tell her to turn lights off and on, buy toilet paper, and play cool jams. She's always friendly, prompt in her delivery, and I'll be honest — she keeps me company on those lonely nights when my boyfriend is off playing poker and the dogs don't feel like talking to me anymore.
The holidays are usually the only time we start to think about giving back, but remember it's always a good time to help those who need it. Get with Alexa and donate some coin. You can make a difference.