On April 2nd, Amazon rolled out a new feature called “Alexa Donations” that allows users to donate to a charity of their choice by just asking.
You can either tell Alexa to donate an amount between $5 and $5,000 to a charity of your choosing or simply say “Alexa, make a donation” and the voice assistant will ask you to pick a charity and dollar amount within that range. Payments are made through Amazon Pay using the card on your Amazon account.
Although users can only select from 48 charities and nonprofits at the moment, including popular ones like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the investigative journalism site ProPublica, Amazon pointed out in a press release that “this list will continue to grow.”
For the third straight year, Amazon has remained #1 on The Harris Poll’s Reputation Quotient survey, and this new donation feature — despite Jeff Bezos’ current row with President Donald Trump — is the latest example of a corporation participating in the “movement of ‘Big Ideals.'” The Harris Poll’s CEO John Gerzema explains it further: “Companies are rising above politics to focus on a pressing social challenge whether it be healthcare, transportation, or education.”
Amazon’s generosity, however, is not new. The e-commerce titan revealed that more than a million people have used Amazon Pay to donate to charities before Alexa Donations was unveiled; and in the past, Amazon teamed up with Give Back Box to allow users reuse Amazon boxes to send donations to charity.
Beyond charity, the new feature could have a broader impact on consumers’ purchasing behavior, particularly voice shopping. “The new capability may get people more comfortable with spending money through a voice assistant,” writes CNET. “So far, voice shopping is still low on the list of activities that people use their Alexa devices for. Amazon is working to boost that.”