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Amazon Alexa users can donate to 48 US charities by voice

Amazon Alexa
Amazon Alexa users can donate to 48 US charities by voice

“Alexa: make a donation to…” Donations by voice are now possible for an initial 48 nonprofits in the USA.

has introduced Alexa Donations, a service that allows users to make a donation hands free using only their voice.

No set-up is required for Alexa users. Donations are fulfilled through Amazon Pay using the customers’ preferred payment method associated with their Amazon account.

Among the first tranche of charities to benefit are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The American Cancer Society, Feeding America, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Comic Relief [USA].

You can view the full current list on Amazon.

Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organisation for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Amazon and its generous customers who will harness the power of voice technology in support of the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Patrick Gauthier, Vice President, Amazon Pay, added: “For the first time ever, Alexa customers can donate to charities like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital hands-free using just their voice. We can’t wait for customers to try this out while donating to great causes like this.”

Of course, Amazon Alexa is only responding to individuals who choose to give to charity. How many people do so spontaneously? Not many.

But the significance of this channel of giving is its ease as well as its novelty. No typing personal details or bank or card details for each donation. Charities will no doubt test it as a destination channel for fundraising asks, rather than treat it as a ‘passive’ source of income. Many charity TV adverts invite viewers to search for a keyword or phrase in order to give: we might soon start to see “ask Alexa about donating to our charity”.

Therein lies a challenge. There are other voice home assistants. Will charity adverts have to mention Siri and Google as alternative giving channels? 

 

Coming to the UK?

There is no confirmation when this will be extended to UK charities. Amazon recently extended its AmazonSmile affiliate donation programme to UK charities, having introduced it first to US nonprofits in 2013, so it is likely that Alexa Donations will follow a similar process. Over 2,000 UK charities registered with AmazonSmile in its first month. Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price on eligible products to the buyer’s chosen charity.

To date, the AmazonSmile programme has donated more than $4.6 million to St. Jude in the USA. In addition, the hospital charity will soon be accepting donations via Amazon Pay on its website.

 

WATCH: Engaging CRUK’s audience with Amazon Echo

The Digital Innovation team at Cancer Research UK has been exploring how home assistants like Amazon Echo can increase supporter engagement and disseminate cancer information more easily. It teamed up in 2017 with Manifesto to do so.

 

 

You can read more about Amazon.com’s community programme, which includes its Give Back Box programme and its Amazon Pro Bono programme.

 

Main video: You Can Now Donate to Charity With Alexa via Mashable.com

 

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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