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Militia-related nonprofits listed among groups that can receive Amazon Smile donations

Charities called Oath Keepers and Three Percent share names with extremist groups that allegedly participated in the Capitol riots. Amazon is looking into the situation.

Laura Hautala Former Senior Writer
Laura wrote about e-commerce and Amazon, and she occasionally covered cool science topics. Previously, she broke down cybersecurity and privacy issues for CNET readers. Laura is based in Tacoma, Washington, and was into sourdough before the pandemic.
Expertise E-commerce, Amazon, earned wage access, online marketplaces, direct to consumer, unions, labor and employment, supply chain, cybersecurity, privacy, stalkerware, hacking. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie Award for a single article in consumer technology
Laura Hautala
3 min read
Brown boxes with Amazon's smiling logo on the side sit on a metal shelf.

Amazon's Smile program lets users put 0.5% of eligible purchases towards charities of their choosing. Three charities found in an Amazon search tool include the name Oath Keepers.

Getty Images

Three charities that appear to be affiliated with the Oath Keepers militia movement and one that shares the name with the Three Percent militia movement are included on a list of nonprofits that Amazon users can choose to make donations to as part of the retailer's Smile charitable giving program. One of the apparent leaders of the Oath Keepers, which is dubbed an extremist group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, was charged on Tuesday with conspiracy against the US for entering the Capitol building on Jan. 6, and members of both groups are under investigation for their roles in that day's events.

Amazon Smile lets shoppers channel 0.5% of their payments for eligible purchases toward a charity. A search tool for eligible charities include 86 nonprofits with the word "militia" in their name, and three groups with "Oath Keepers" in their name. Another group calls itself the Delaware Iii Percent, or Delaware Three Percent, a name shared with a different extremist militia movement whose members call themselves Three Percenters. The FBI is reportedly investigating members of both groups for their roles in planning and carrying out the insurrection.

One of the Smile-listed Oath Keepers charities uses some of the same logos and art used by the Oath Keepers group that is associated with the Capitol riots. CNET hasn't been able to confirm a formal affiliation among the groups. 

Amazon, along with the rest of the tech industry, has been trying to end its association with any groups condoning or helping plan the invasion of the Capitol, which forced lawmakers to flee as they were certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. Following the riots, Amazon suspended its cloud hosting for Parler, a social media platform popular with the far-right. It's also been trying to remove items that support the insurrectionists from its retail platforms. Payment platform PayPal, which also owns Venmo, stopped processing payments for a website that claimed to be funding people who went to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6. Shopify stopped providing e-commerce services for online stores associated with President Donald Trump and merchandise related to his Make America Great Again movement.

A screen shot of Indiana Oath Keepers website, which gives instructions for using Amazon Smile to funnel a small portion of payments on eligible purchases to the organization.

A screen shot of the Indiana Oath Keepers website, which gives instructions for using Amazon Smile to funnel a small portion of payments on eligible purchases to the organization.


Amazon said it is investigating the situation. The company announced in September it had donated more than $215 million to charity through the Amazon Smile program since its launch in 2013. The company's net profit hit $6.3 billion in the third quarter of 2020, three times higher than the same quarter in 2019.

Two of the Oath Keepers nonprofits and the Delaware III Percent charity are registered with the IRS but didn't have a web presence and couldn't be contacted Tuesday. Indiana Oath Keepers, the other group shown in the Amazon charity search function, didn't respond to a request for comment. Its website lays out specific instructions for how supporters can choose Indiana Oath Keepers as a charity to support on Amazon Smile.

Sleeping Giants, an activist group that aims to stop commercial support of right-wing groups, pointed out the Indiana Oath Keepers website in a tweet Tuesday. The tweet focused on the Indiana group's claim that Kroger's customers can support it through the grocer's Community Rewards program. The Cincinnati Enquirer has since reported that Kroger's pulled the group from the program. Kroger's didn't respond to a request for comment.

The Indiana Oath Keepers website says the organization brings together active military personnel, police and emergency responders who swear an oath to protect the US Constitution, a foundational element of the original Oath Keepers organization. It also says the Indiana group teaches disaster preparedness to help prepare communities for emergencies.