Activate AmazonSmile on your iPhone or Android to support local Scouting on the go

Woman holding phone with AmazonSmile

Now you can support Scouting without lifting a finger — or at least not more than one.

AmazonSmile, the simple and no-cost way to donate to a favorite charity like your local BSA council, now works on the Amazon Shopping app for iPhone and Android.

That means it’s easier than ever to support Scouting anytime, anywhere.

We first told you about AmazonSmile when it debuted in 2014. (Read that post for details on signing up for AmazonSmile for desktop shopping.)

Through its AmazonSmile program, Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice — at no cost to you. You’ll get the same prices, selection and service found on Amazon.com, but now Amazon gives 0.5% of its cut to a good cause.

The BSA and its local councils across the country are eligible AmazonSmile charities. Individual packs, troops, posts, ships and crews are not eligible.

Why use AmazonSmile

Sure, I agree that 50 cents on a $100 tablet might not seem like a huge donation. And it’s not a substitute for the generous contributions you regularly make to local Scouting through campaigns like Friends of Scouting.

But as any frequent Amazon shopper knows, your purchases add up.

As of May 2020, the BSA National Service Center in Texas has received nearly $9,000 in AmazonSmile donations. That total doesn’t include the hundreds or even thousands of dollars received by local councils like yours.

What’s the news here?

Previously, AmazonSmile required the user to shop using their browser — either on a desktop computer or through the mobile browser on a smartphone.

That meant that when you shopped in the official Amazon app, you weren’t contributing to your chosen charity — even if you had already activated AmazonSmile.

By adding AmazonSmile to its official app, Amazon is making the program available anytime, anywhere. So now when you buy a blender from the back seat or a printer from the patio — your council still gets that 0.5%.

How to activate AmazonSmile on your iPhone or Android

Step 1: Join AmazonSmile

If you aren’t yet an AmazonSmile member, sign up at smile.amazon.com using a web browser (mobile or desktop). You’ll sign in with your Amazon credentials, and the site will walk you through the process.

Amazon will ask you to choose your favorite charity. This is where you search for your local Scout council or choose the “National Boy Scouts of America Council.”

Step 2: Open the Amazon Shopping app on your phone

If you don’t have the app already, download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Step 3: Open Settings within the app

Open Settings by tapping the three horizontal lines (aka the “hamburger”) at the top left and tapping “Settings.”

Step 4: Tap AmazonSmile

Step 5: Tap the button for “Turn on AmazonSmile”

You’ll need to follow the three-step setup process. Note that Amazon requires you to turn on notifications to be able to use AmazonSmile on your phone.

Step 6: Make note of your renewal date

Amazon asks that you renew your AmazonSmile donation every six months. This is easy but required. When six months are up, you’ll have to choose your favorite charity again. If you don’t, purchases made until you do will not count.

Step 7: Confirm that AmazonSmile is active before your next purchase

Look for AmazonSmile at the top of the app as you browse. You’ll also see your chosen charity on the confirmation screen.

About Bryan Wendell 3031 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.