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Amazon will now donate part of your purchase to charity

A new program called AmazonSmile gives 0.5 percent of the total purchase price to your favorite charity.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon buyers who want to give a little something to charity can now do their shopping via the retailer's AmazonSmile site.

Launched on Wednesday, AmazonSmile will dole out 0.5 percent of your total purchase to any one of a million eligible charities. To use the program, just browse to the AmazonSmile Web site. The first time you visit the site, you can choose one of the charities spotlighted by Amazon or pick your own by typing its name in the search field.

Then you just shop as you normally would. Shopping through AmazonSmile is just like shopping through Amazon's regular Web site. You'll find the same products and experience, according to Amazon. The only difference is that buying an item through AmazonSmile ensures that your favorite charity benefits.

The Web site remembers the charity you initially chose. Should you wish to change the charity, just click on its name at the top of the AmazonSmile site, and you can then pick a different one.

The donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation, and there's no cap on the total donation amount, Amazon says. Charitable organizations can register with the program through the AmazonSmile Org Central Web site.

"We're offering customers a way to support charitable organizations around the country that's simple and automatic," Ian McAllister, general manager for AmazonSmile, said in a statement. "We think customers will love the opportunity to support their favorite organizations without changing how they shop, and there's no cap on how much Amazon will donate."