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Alexa Donations, Giving Back to Charity with your Voice

In a new move to give charity supporters a voice, Amazon have introduced Alexa Donations, which lets you donate to over 50 charities by simply asking ‘Alexa donate $20 to the American Red Cross‘. That's how easy it is.


alexa donations

How do Alexa Donations work?

Unless you live under a rock, or you just don’t like Amazon (which is pretty unlikely if you own an Amazon Echo), you probably have an account linked to your credit/debit card or bank account.

When you want to make a donation (anywhere between $5 and $5000), Alexa uses Amazon pay to find the card details linked to your account to make the payment. If you’re worried about the financial safety of this new feature, don’t be.

All the payments are secure, and you can set up a 4-digit pin number that Alexa will ask you for before confirming the donation. Once the donation is made, you will receive a confirmation email and a receipt in the Alexa app on your phone. It’s also important to note that Alexa will share your name, address and email with the charity so that the organisation can stay in touch with you in the future.

Why Alexa Donations is a game changer for charities:

First off, it’s amazing that a huge company like Amazon is making it easier for people to donate to charitable causes.

One of the major challenges with Alexa Donations is that users may not know which charity they want to donate to, or which charities they are able to donate to, however…

"If you’re unsure of what deserving charity you’d like to help, you can just say, “Alexa, make a donation,” and she’ll help you select a nonprofit."

Lulu Chang, Raise Your Voice for a Good Cause

With almost 36 million Americans owning an Amazon Echo, Alexa Donations has the potential to massively disrupt the Third Sector by making it so easy to donate. And with the feature expected to be coming to the rest of the world…

If Amazon doesn’t do it soon, we definitely will – charities all across the globe can expect to see a substantial increase in the number of donations and support they receive. Check out a few of the charities and voice commands below:

alexa donations list

What to the Alexa Donations skeptics think?

Some individuals aren’t as excited about Alexa’s new feature as most people seem to be. Where Alexa falls short is that there is no ‘ask’ step in the donation process.

A lot of people don’t suddenly decide to donate to charity on a whim, they need to be asked to by the charities first. However this is a very minor drawback, and there are loads of things that charities can do to make the most of Alexa Donations.

A lot more people would be inclined to talk to Alexa than go get their laptops, find the website and then sign up, fill in their card details, specify the amount they want to donate- you get the idea, it’s a long and inconvenient process, which is probably what puts most people off donating.

Now, all you need to do is say “Alexa, donate $5 to the American Red Cross” and you’re done, without even needing to take your hand out of the popcorn bowl.

A little inspiration:

Check out the video of some of the stuff Cancer Research and Manifesto have been working on. ‘Investigating whether home assistants like Amazon Echo could be used to increase supporter engagement and disseminate cancer information more easily.’

This is definitely a step in the right direction for Alexa and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this technology, voice users and Alexa Skill developers alike.

Have you got any thoughts about Alexa Donations?

We’d love to hear them, tweet us @3SidedCube.

Published on April 5, 2018, last updated on April 10, 2019

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