First Book

Frequently Asked Questions

What is First Book?

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need. Since our founding in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 170 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families.

First Book supports the largest and fastest growing network of educators and program leaders exclusively serving children in need. In partnership with these heroic educators and other organizations, First Book transforms lives by improving access to equal, quality education for all kids.

When was First Book founded?

Then a corporate lawyer, First Book’s President and CEO Kyle Zimmer, tutored children in reading at a local food pantry in her spare time. During this experience, and while traveling the country to represent the Navajo nation with colleagues Elizabeth Arky and Peter Gold, she met educators and community leaders working with kids from low-income families. She discovered nearly all lacked sufficient books and educational resources.

In 1992, Kyle, Elizabeth and Peter established First Book to provide an ongoing supply of books to schools and programs working with children from low-income families.

How many books has First Book distributed?

First Book has distributed more than 170 million new books to children in need throughout the United States and Canada.

How can I receive books through First Book?

Educators and program leaders serving children in need can sign up with First Book to receive ongoing access to new, high-quality books and resources.

How do I know if I’m eligible to access First Book’s resources?

Educators and program leaders serving at least 70 percent of the children from low-income families are eligible to sign up with First Book. For more information on our eligibility requirements visit

  1. E-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  2. Call our help line - 866 READ NOW or 866 732 3669 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday

How can I get involved with First Book?


First Book provides millions of books and educational materials to children in need each year thanks to generous supporters. When you donate, you make it possible for children to get books. 97% of all donations provide new books and educational resources to kids.

The very best way to help is to donate monthly. It’s easy! Simply choose the amount and your gift will be made automatically on your credit card each month.

Start a Campaign

Join thousands of champions across the country who fundraise to provide brand new books and educational resources to kids in need. These efforts are rewarding, fun and essential to the kids we serve.

In lieu of gifts for a holiday or milestone, ask friends to donate to your campaign. Or host an event and invite others to support it by donating to your First Book campaign.

Stay Connected

You care about literacy and kids in need. Follow us on social media enjoy stories, pictures and videos from the educators and kids we serve.

First Book does not sell or distribute its mailing list. Please refer to our Privacy Policy.

How can I make a monetary donation to First Book?

You can donate to First Book online via credit card or by mailing a check to the address below.

Every Every $3 donated provides a new book to a child in need.

First Book
1319 F St. NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004

If you would like to donate stocks or bonds, please contact us.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

First Book is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations to First Book are tax-deductible.

Is my personal information secure?

Yes. First Book makes every effort to protect your information. We use industry-standard SSL encryption techniques to make sure that your personal information travels securely over the Internet. We have also installed an encryption engine on our database server so that your data is securely stored. For more information, please read our Privacy Policy.

How does my donation help?

Your support provides critical books and educational resources to further educational equity for children from low-income families. First Book uses your donations efficiently - 97 percent of all donations provide new books for kids in need. First Book has been recognized by Charity Navigator and Guidestar for best practices.

Can I designate my funds raised to a specific area or organization?

Donations to First Book enable us to reach educators and kids in thousands of communities nationwide.

If you know of an organization in your community that could benefit from First Book's resources, please encourage them to sign up with First Book. The process is free and takes only minutes.

Can I donate books to First Book?

For Individuals

First Book does not accept donations of used or new books from individuals. We encourage you to make donations like this directly to schools, libraries and other programs in your local community.

For Publishers

First Book accepts large-scale donations of new books directly from publishers. View a list of our generous publishing partners..

Our Approach

Price is the #1 barrier to book ownership. Our innovative model knocks down that wall.

Our Innovative Approach

Media Center

Visit our Media Center to see the latest First Book news, honors and awards, and multimedia content.

The First Book Media Center

Our Impact

First Book works with existing community programs and schools to provide an ongoing supply of new books and educational resources to children in need.

First Book's Impact

Development lightbox Sept 2017 B2S