That headline isn't a lie, and there are no catches at all.
One very quick and easy way you can help VLCM Foundation raise money for cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute is in the course of your regular online shopping through Amazon, with their service AmazonSmile.
Completely free to you, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of any eligible purchase on amazon.com to VLCM Foundation. "Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product details page."
It's easy, automatic, and free to you. The donation comes from Amazon's profits off each of your transactions, so you're not paying anything extra. Additionally, your shopping experience on the site won't be any different. You will see the same products at the same prices, and there are no extra steps except the original set-up.
Clearly, 0.5% isn't a lot of money, and it will never replace VLCM Foundation's normal fundraising efforts, but every donation counts when it comes to cancer research. Between January 2017 and May 2017, Amazon donated over $180 to VLCM Foundation, just in the course of people's normal online shopping. $180 for free is a great deal!
Shopping on a computer
If you're interested in helping VLCM Foundation get more donations from Amazon when using your computer, you can follow these steps:
- Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-2624465.
- Log in with your usual Amazon log-in information. You'll be redirected to a screen that looks very similar to the familiar Amazon homepage, but the screen will have an additional line above the top horizontal menu that says you're supporting VLCM Foundation.
- Amazon will only donate to VLCM Foundation if you are using a URL that begins with smile.amazon.com rather than simply amazon.com. There are extensions and add-ins that will save you from needing to remember that when you're shopping online. These will automatically switch any URL beginning with amazon.com to one beginning with smile.amazon.com. Chrome users can install an extension in the Google Chrome Web Store, and Firefox users can install an add-on at Mozilla's Add-on site. There are no extensions or add-ons for Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari, but you can add amazon.smile.com as a Bookmark to help you remember.
Shopping on your smartphone or tablet
Now, if you use the Amazon app on your smartphone or tablet, you can't use AmazonSmile in the app. Gratefully, the experience in the Amazon app is not much different than on the website and if all you need the app for is just quick access to Amazon, there is a workaround.
- Open your device's native web browsing app:
- For iPhones, this is Safari
- For Androids, this is Google Chrome
- Navigate on your smartphone to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-2624465 and log in with your usual information. Make sure to click "Keep me signed in" if you don't want to log in every time you shop. After logging in, you should see the AmazonSmile logo at the top of your page where the regular Amazon logo used to be.
- Add a shortcut to AmazonSmile on your home screen. What this does is add a little shortcut to your phone's home screen that looks just like an app.
- For iPhones, tap the Share icon at the bottom-middle of the screen. It looks like a box with an arrow pointing upward. Scroll on the bottom row of options until you see a button that says "Add to Home Screen". Tap this. Name the app whatever you like, leave the URL as is, and tap "Add" in the top right of the screen. You now essentially have an AmazonSmile app that you can move around just like any other app.
- For Android phones, tap the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and select "Add to Home screen". You can name it whatever you want, then tap "Add". Finish off by tapping "Add automatically". You now have an AmazonSmile app that you can drag just like any other app.
Like your donations that come to us in any other way, 100% of the donations to VLCM Foundation through AmazonSmile will fund cancer research. In just three steps, you can help us donate even more money to life-saving science at Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Update August 7, 2018: Since we started using AmazonSmile in November of 2016, we've raised over $750 for cancer research through AmazonSmile--and it cost our community nothing they wouldn't have already have spent. We really appreciate the people who've chosen to support us this way; it's quick, easy, and painless. If you haven't signed up yet, follow the instructions above to do so.