Amazon has added a new Alexa capability that allows users who are feeling charitable to make donations via voice. In fact, as of this writing, there are no fewer than 48 organizations to which donations can be made. Those aren't necessarily all charity organizations, with some non-profits such as National Public Radio, Inc, the Tor Project, or the Wikimedia Foundation being thrown into the mix as well. However, the vast majority of the names included on the list are. So, if users want to donate to a given charity on a whim with only their voice, that's easy enough to accomplish now.
As with everything related to Amazon's Alexa, the process is fairly straightforward and begins with the platform's trigger word, "Alexa." Then users simply need to say, "make a donation to," followed by the organization of their choosing. For example, one might say "Alexa, make a donation to Wounded Warrior Project" or "Alexa, make a donation to Doctors Without Borders USA." If there's a valid payment method linked to the Amazon account of the user making the request, the user will be able to choose the amount donated. Credit card data is never shared with the organization, with Amazon only forwarding your name, email, and address to the recipient. Users can also get a receipt for their donation if they choose to, though that record will show up in their history for future reference regardless. As with all Alexa purchases, setting up a four-digit verification code for purchases via the Alexa app or Amazon account will prevent accidental donations. Although 48 available organizations list is hardly exhaustive, it is not unlikely that more will be added over time. So, if a user doesn't see their preferred donation, it may become available eventually depending on the company's requirements for being added to the list.
In the meantime, users can also donate to charity via Amazon's Smile. That's a secondary official Amazon page which donates a portion of all money spent on the site to a charity of the user's choice such as the World Wildlife Fund or dozens of others. Amazon's also not the only major company in the segment to take part in charitable activities. Google is another prime example of a tech giant undertaking efforts over the past few years, specifically in education programs but also in more traditional charity work categories and fundraising. The new AI-powered effort from Amazon is simply the latest example of a company doing good for the sake of it, rather than for the purpose of a direct promotion of products or services.