Walmart is enabling customers to donate to charities through purchases via its e-commerce site and mobile app.
In late 2022, the discount giant launched Spark Good, an online program designed to streamline the process of making donations to charitable non-profits. Part of the retailer’s Walmart Foundation non-profit initiative, which together with Walmart donated more than $1.5 billion in cash and in-kind to support programs in fiscal year 2022, Spark Good allows approved non-profits to apply local grants as well as participate in a few other fundraising efforts:
- Round Up - Customers shopping on Walmart.com or in the Walmart app can now round up their totals at the point of purchase to the nearest dollar and have the change donated to a charity they choose. When a Walmart customer shops on a mobile phone or computer, they will be prompted to choose a charity to donate to or decline the opportunity. The customer’s charity of choice must be enrolled in Round Up to participate.
- Spark Good registry - Operating like a wedding or a baby registry, the Spark Good Registry allows verified nonprofits to create lists of needed products, including gift cards, and to share those lists with their donors. Walmart ships items purchased through a nonprofit’s registry directly to the nonprofit. Nonprofits can also create virtual events, like a coat or canned-food drive, and share the registry through their social media channels or donor newsletters.
- Space request tool – The Spark Good Space Request tool allows local organizations to request space outside of Walmart and Sam’s Club stores for the purpose of fundraising or community awareness campaigns.
“Spark Good sprung from a simple question: How might we do more good, in more communities, more often?,” Walmart said in a corporate blog post announcing the program. “And helping you help your world is the answer. It’s an answer that comes naturally to Walmart. Being part of your communities and neighborhoods has always been important to us. It means we know you, because we are you. Just a little bit bigger.
“So we’re here to be your force multiplier: turning your small actions into big ripples that amount to meaningful impact in your world, whatever it looks like. Because we believe that when we come together, we can Spark Good.”
Amazon to shutter AmazonSmile
Walmart is moving ahead with its Spark Good program as its chief rival Amazon is winding down its own programthat lets customers donate to charities within their purchases. Initially launched in 2013, AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of a participating customer’s purchase on Amazon to a charity they can select from a list of nearly 1 million eligible global non-profit organizations.
As a result of the program not creating the hoped-for impact, the company said it will stop offering AmazonSmile by February 20, 2023. Amazon has also been involved in a number of broad cost-cutting measures recently.