Amazon Business For Nonprofits Supports Charities is 501c3.Buzz’s review of AMAZON’s newest program designed to serve the charitable sector. Here’s what the team at Amazon has to share about this important program for 501(c)3 organizations:
Amazon believes in the importance of impact organizations who serve locally, nationally and even worldwide. That’s why AMAZON BUSINESS FOR NONPROFITS has been designed especially for the charitable sector. We know charities need agility and flexibility to respond to changing community needs. Every dollar spent at a nonprofit represents a choice between funding staff, operations, or programs. We’re here to help you get the job done more efficiently and at lower costs. Here’s just a few of the features made available to nonprofits through Amazon Business:
–Multi-user, TAX-EXEMPT Amazon account for your organization
-Product selection and pricing advantages
-Nonprofit discounted Business Prime Tiers
-Dedicated Amazon Nonprofit Customer Advisor to maximize your experience
-Bookkeeping reports that track your expenses
-Orders can be automatically emailed for approval
-Access for all employees to Amazon’s COVID-19 Supplies
–Increase donations with charity-specific AmazonSmile landing pages
How is the charitable sector responding to Amazon Business for Nonprofits?
-75,000 nonprofit business customers (and growing)
-30 of the United States’ largest charities
-28,000 faith-based organizations
Amazon Tax Exemption Program (ATEP):
If you’re eligible for tax-exempt purchasing, you may be able to participate in the Amazon Tax Exemption Program. The program allows you to make tax-exempt purchases and manage tax exemption across your organization.
Nonprofit Organization Pricing:
Amazon already makes it easy to compare prices and find the best deals. Now we’ve made it easy for suppliers to provide discounts reserved for charities. Registered nonprofits will see exclusive prices on a growing selection of items.
Discounted BUSINESS PRIME Subscription:
Depending on the size of your organization your Business Prime Subscription can be as low as $69.00 per year.
Amazon Nonprofit Customer Advisor to maximize your experience:
Amazon will assign your organization a designated Nonprofit Advisor who will work with you to ensure you navigate all the advantages this program offers. They’re just a phone call away.
Reports that track your expenses:
Save time compiling recurring reports by using out-of-the-box reports and dashboards. Track your progress toward spending goals and discover new ways to reduce costs.
Purchase orders can be automatically emailed for approval:
Amazon connects all your teams to one account providing purchase order requests for approval.
Access for all employees to Amazon’s COVID-19 Supplies:
Explore a brand new central location on Amazon, exclusively for tax-exempt organizations to access inventory of critical supplies as they become available.
Access to AmazonSmile Charity Lists:
Thousands of charities create AmazonSmile Charity Lists of items they need right now. Donors can browse, order, and enjoy giving. Amazon also donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to your charitable organization—no fees, no extra cost.
Here’s a word from Meredith Berger, Amazon’s Government & Nonprofit Customer Advisor, “We are here to ensure you get the supplies you need to serve men, women, children and families in need. From nationwide nonprofits to community organizations, we’re a fit. Every dollar spent at a nonprofit represents a choice between funding staff, operations, or programs. We’re here to help you get the job done more efficiently.”
For nearly 80 years, the United Service Organizations (USO) has been a leading organization serving the women and men in the US military and their families throughout their time in uniform. From the moment they join, through their assignments and deployments—and as they transition back into their communities—USO works to support them with a range of specialized programs to support their needs. With 250 locations worldwide, and in the process of incorporating several independent charters under the corporate umbrella in the next two years, their procurement team’s goal is to centralize operations to consolidate suppliers, achieve more competitive pricing, and create efficiencies.
A global nonprofit organization requires large-scale sourcing innovation
The USO is not part of the federal government, rather it’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Virginia. Its origins trace back to the onset of America’s involvement in World War II in 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to unite several service associations into one organization to lift the morale of the United States military. Today, the USO operates 250 locations, extends to fifteen countries on every continent, and staffs thousands of employees and volunteers. In 2019, USO centers were visited more than eight million times, serving five million active duty military members and their families, all benefiting from its programs and services.
Rick Quaintance and Tina Stockov lead procurement for the USO, both joining in 2015. They immediately noticed that the sourcing and finance process were manual, time-intensive, and paperwork-driven. To modernize the organization, they initiated a request for proposal (RFP) to find a procure-to-pay solution that would be user-friendly, automated, and compatible with their existing process structure.
Through this RFP process, Quaintance and Stockov led the implementation of a modern procure-to-pay solution with Coupa. They also worked with Amazon Business to enable a punchout—a technology solution that allows the USO to source supplies from Amazon Business through Coupa. They launched the punchout in 2017, first to the headquarters, and then to the entire global organization in five months. Today, nearly 80 percent of all USO spending goes through this e-procurement integration, and between 80-90 percent of all spend is confirmed best pricing available, according to the team at USO. Amazon Business supports more than 110 different software platforms for these punchout integrations.
“While the introduction of this new process is a big, structural change for the organization, most everyone has now embraced it,” said Quaintance. “Things like approving invoices and reconciling receipts for expenses used to take five to seven days, and now it takes two. What used to be a manual process that took up much of our time is now almost entirely automated. This reduces processing times and allows us to provide autonomy to center directors to get what they need more quickly and efficiently,” he said. “Further, this new integrated solution is also providing us greater visibility into spending across the USO, a key benefit for a global nonprofit organization that has to regularly report on how we’re using donor dollars across multiple time zones.”
Another benefit to this automation is the ability to allow all users across the organization access to the Amazon Business store to source for their unique needs without having to search through individual supplier catalogs. The USO is also leveraging Approval Workflows, an Amazon Business feature that allows administrators to create, and quickly scale purchasing workflows that fit their organizational structure. Currently, there are approximately 300 users with this feature and it’s helping center directors around the world review and approve spending, reducing the workload on the main office.
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