Slate ran a story on Friday that follows up on my story about how Amazon.com does just about nothing for the Seattle arts community.
It turns out, Amazon does just about nothing for any charities at all:
...Paul Constant, books editor at the Seattle alt-weekly the Stranger...hit a stone wall: "[Amazon.com] has refused to return repeated e-mails and calls from The Stranger about the company's seemingly nonexistent contributions to the Seattle arts scene," he wrote at the time. "Internet searches for any sign of philanthropy on behalf of the company prove fruitless."
Wait … no corporate giving at all? None?
Amazon.com's own account hardly inspires confidence. True, their Giving page cites employee efforts, and the Bezos family maintains its own comparatively modest foundation. The company has also allowed other people's donation money—and page views—to course through its site. But the only listed donations by Amazon.com itself are a single Nonprofit Innovation Award that has not been given since 2005, and the delivery after "recent flooding in Southeast Kansas, [of] more than 10 pallets of household goods ... to local Red Cross shelters in Coffeyville, Kansas." What they don't note is that "recent" is July 2007—and, as Amazon.com is the largest employer in Coffeyville, that their own employees may have been among those benefiting from the goods.
It's a great article that explains exactly why Amazon should be a little more benevolent—basically, because it's managed to thrive on the benevolence of the government holding back state taxes—and it also points out lemonade stands that give more to charity than Amazon. You should read it.