First Book

Equal access to quality education for children in need

Frequently Asked Questions

What is First Book?

First Book provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than

million free and low cost books in thousands of communities. First Book now has offices in the U.S. and Canada.

When was First Book founded?

First Book President, Kyle Zimmer, founded First Book with two friends in 1992 to create an organization dedicated to providing new books to children in need. In that first year, First Book distributed 12,000 books in three communities – we are now proud to deliver more than 35,000 new books on average per day.

How many books has First Book distributed?

First Book has distributed more than

million new books to children in need in hundreds of communities throughout the United States and Canada.

How can I receive books through First Book?

In order to receive new books from First Book, you must register as a recipient group. For more information on registration benefits and eligibility requirements visit:

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

If you’re an educator or program administrator, and at least 70 percent of the children in your program come from low-income families, we can help.

Eligible programs receive access to the First Book Marketplace, offering new books at 50 to 90 percent off retail prices, as well as access to free books through the First Book National Book Bank and book grants through First Book’s local Advisory Boards. If you have questions about eligibility requirements, we have three ways to help:

  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 offers donation and volunteer opportunities.


A tax-deductible donation to First Book will fund new books for children in need and help knock down the greatest barrier to literacy development in the United States and beyond — access to books.

Every $10 buys four new books for a child in need and 97 cents of every dollar you contribute goes directly to First Book’s mission - making it possible for us to reach more children with more wonderful new books.


At the local level, activities are managed by First Book Advisory Boards. First Book Advisory Boards (ABs) are an extensive network of volunteer community leaders serving as ambassadors dedicated to fundraising, providing book grants to local literacy programs, and raising awareness of literacy issues within communities, college campuses and universities. you can:

  • Start a page and invite friends and family to join you in raising funds to place new books into the hands of children who need them.
  • Personalize your fundraising page with photos, logos and your own message. Send e-mail reminders and thank you messages to friends and family.
  • Check reports to monitor the status of your fundraising efforts.


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 $10 donated provides four new books for 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 has made 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 Policies.

How does my donation help?

Each year, First Book distributes millions of books to children who have never owned a book of their own. First Book's model uses your donations efficiently. 97 percent of revenue is devoted to programmatic costs.

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

Donations supporting our efforts at the national level ensure a gift with maximum impact locally in thousands of communities nationwide, thanks to the efficiency of First Book's three channels of distribution.

The books we provide are all brand new, age- and language-appropriate. They are distributed to children in the hardest-to-reach communities nationwide; selected by the educators working most closely with them; and provided directly from over 90 major children's publishers.

More than 35,000 programs across the country receive books from First Book, including: soup kitchens and homeless shelters, local preschool and after-school programs, Title I schools, Head Start centers and Boys & Girls Clubs. Your contribution at the national level supports these ongoing efforts in thousands of communities nationwide in the most efficient and productive way possible.

If you know of an organization in your community that could benefit from First Book's resources, please encourage them to register 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. If you’re interested in becoming a publishing partner, learn how to partner with First Book.

Innovation in Publishing

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

Innovation in Publishing

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 through existing community programs, literacy efforts and schools to provide an ongoing supply of wonderful new books and reading materials.

First Book's Impact

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