All you have to say is, “Alexa, donate X dollar amount to X charity,” or “Alexa, make a donation.” You can donate anywhere between $5 and $5,000 just by using your voice. Alexa then tells you that it will share your name, address, and email with the charity you select. It will repeatedly ask you if you want to go through with the donation, or you can set up a four-digit code to avoid accidental donations.
Because the program is so new, users only have 48 charities and nonprofits to choose from for their donation. These include groups like the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, Wikimedia Foundation, among others.
“This is just the beginning — this list will continue to grow,” the spokesperson said in a recent press release.
According to Amazon, more than one million people used Amazon Pay to donate to charities before they even launched Alexa Donations. Now, you will receive information about the charity you select from the Alexa app, unlike donations made before.
There are two major indirect implications that are expected to come from this new development. First, these donations may be the first step towards Amazon allowing its users to send money to their friends and family by voice like Google does with the Google Assistant.
Second, the new donation ability was developed in hopes of getting Alexa users more comfortable with spending money through the voice assistant. Thus far, voice shopping is still far down on the list of things people use their Alexa devices for. Amazon wants to boost that activity, and they are hoping these donations will help.
For users, the incentive is clear. They are helping out charities of their choice as easily as they call their kids for dinner. Your donation is also tax deductible for the value of the money you choose to donate to your selected charity, which is an added bonus to encourage consumers to donate.