With AmazonSmile, your Amazon purchases can support Scouting

Updated for 2018

As if you needed another excuse to shop at Amazon.

Every purchase you make from the Earth’s biggest online store can support the charity of your choice, including the Boy Scouts of America and its many local councils.

Through its AmazonSmile program, introduced in 2014, Amazon donates 0.5 percent of the price of your eligible purchase to the public charitable organization of your choice.

Who’s eligible for AmazonSmile?

The BSA and its more than 270 local councils are eligible AmazonSmile charities. (Individual packs, troops, teams, posts, ships and crews aren’t eligible.)

How much has been raised so far?

As of November 2017, AmazonSmile has generated $5,309.31 for the BSA’s National Council. That’s basically free money to support the future of Scouting.

Local councils have seen a similar impact, getting essential funds with minimal effort.

Why should I support the BSA through AmazonSmile?

Sure, half a percent isn’t much and won’t replace your Friends of Scouting contributions that help Scouting function in your community. But it adds up, costs you nothing and is a great additional way to support Scouting.

The one-time setup takes just a couple of seconds (instructions below), and you get the same prices, products and service you’re used to when shopping at Amazon. It doesn’t cost you any extra; the only difference is now you’re helping Scouting every time you buy.

How do I set up AmazonSmile?

Step 1: Go to smile.amazon.com



You’ll use this link to register and for all your future Amazon shopping.

Even after you’ve signed up for AmazonSmile and selected a charity, shopping through the regular amazon.com won’t benefit that charity. You need to use the smile.amazon.com link from now on. So you don’t forget, use a browser extension (I use the Smile Always Chrome extension) that will redirect you automatically.

Step 2: Sign in using your normal Amazon login



Step 3: Search for the “Boy Scouts of America”



Step 4: Find your local council, or select the national council



Some are listed by council name and others by headquarters city. That information comes from a national charity database, so any listing you find in there is legitimate.

Charitable organizations must go through a rigorous screening process to be listed here, so you can select with confidence that your purchases are actually supporting your council.

Step 5: Check the top-left corner and start shopping



If you see AmazonSmile in the top left corner and the correct charity in the “Supporting: [Your charity here]” line, you’ve done it right.

Step 6: Double-check that the product you’re buying is eligible



Most items sold by Amazon qualify, but confirm that on the product page. It’ll say “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation.” And this is a good time to triple-check that you see AmazonSmile and the proper charity at the top-left corner.

Step 7: Check out!

This part you should be used to. Purchase the item(s), and smile. You’ve just done a Good Turn for your local council!

Step 8: Check your impact


Hover over the name of your charity at the top of the screen, and click “Your AmazonSmile Impact” to see how much you have generated for Scouting.


  1. Good info. Thanks Bryan. I wish Amazon would just tie it to my regular account instead of making me remember to go to the special website. I don’t normally bookmark Amazon since it’s pretty easy to remember their website.

    • In the meantime, I’d suggest that. You could contact your council to see whether they can add themselves. You can change your selected charity at any time.

      • Amazon is unable to explain why Transatlantic Council is not eligible to participate. I am continuing to work with them to try to get this oversight corrected.

    • The IRS’s rules regarding donations to international charities are far more complicated than donations to American charities. Amazon probably didn’t want the hassle.

    • Because it does great work?

      Not trying to be snide There are lots of folks who I don’t see eye to eye with. (E.g. many are rising up against setting aside privilege to those unions where one member has an unequal risk of physical impairment from reproduction). But I figure we’re better off standing with them than waiting around to drop a dollar in the plate of someone who is philosophically with me.

  2. The article says, “Individual packs, troops, teams, posts, ships and crews aren’t eligible to earn money through AmazonSmile.” But, if a CO is willing to put its account on the line, is there anything keeping unit from being on the list of charities?

    • You can’t, individual units are not a 501(c)(3) or similarly-categorized charity. It’s the same reason you’re [technically] not allowed to solicit donations. Your council is 501(c)(3), however, which is why donations can go to them.

  3. Amazon is breaking its own policy by allowing contributions to the Boy Scouts of America, the only Scouting organization in the civilized world that discriminates.

    Please read the Participation Agreement here; it is quite clear:


    Shame on the Scouts for seeking donations through Smile when they know they do not qualify. When I was a Boy Scout, long before this stupid Mormon-inspired ban, we were trustworthy.

    I wish the American branch of Scouting would heed the wise words of its British founder, Robert Baden Powell, return BSA to its non-denominational roots:

    “Buddha has said: ‘There is only one way of driving out Hate in the world and that is by bringing in Love.’ Scouting’s aim is to produce healthy, happy, helpful citizens, of both sexes, to eradicate the prevailing narrow self-interest, personal, political, sectarian and national, and to substitute for it a broader spirit of self-sacrifice and service in the cause of humanity.”

  4. Bryan, do you have any information on whom to contact at Amazon, or whom to contact at National Council, to modify our council’s name on the listing or determine how we would receive contributions through the Amazon Smile program?

    • Someone from the council needs to provide positive identification that they’re the POC for the council, and set up an address and bank account for Amazon to direct-deposit into. I did it several years ago for another charity I’m a treasurer for, and it was a relatively easy process. Ever since then they’ve simply direct-deposited quarterly contributions. Every little bit helps.

  5. What I can’t figure out is how to get my UNIT registered as one of the recipients. Anyone have any luck with that? I’ve looked high and low on their website…Thanks!

    • You cannot register units, because your individual unit is not a 501(c)(3) or similarly-categorized charity. It’s the same reason you’re [technically] not allowed to solicit donations. Your council is 501(c)(3), however, which is why donations can go to them.

  6. If you use Chrome, there is also a small addon called Smile Always that will automatically redirect you to the Amazon Smile site. That ensures your orders benefit your chosen organization.

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