First Book

Creating Equal Access to Quality Education

aka First Book Marketplace   |   Washington, DC   |  www.firstbook.org

Mission

First Book believes that education is the best way out of poverty for children in need. We provide books and other resources to classrooms and programs serving children in need, from birth to age 18, in order to remove barriers to quality education for all kids.

Ruling year info

1992

President, Co-founder, and CEO

Kyle Zimmer

Main address

1319 F Street NW Suite 1000

Washington, DC 20004 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1779606

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

First Book believes that education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. But 31 million kids who live in underserved communities are not getting the education they need: • 44 percent of all U.S. children come from low-income families. • Poverty is reshaping education: 51 percent of public school students are in need, often coming to school without even their basic needs met and under extreme stress. • Public education is underfunded: 23 states spend less on public education than they did a decade ago. School and youth programs are challenged for means to keep children engaged and learning, creating an urgent need for resources. • The economic devastation is deep and broad: According to McKinsey & Co, the effect of an inequitable education system is the equivalent of a national recession. Poor educational outcomes lead to rising health care and justice system costs; lost tax dollars, competitiveness, and workers; and unrealized opportunities for children in need.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Equal Access to Quality Education for Kids in Need

First Book believes education offers kids in need the best path out of poverty.

Through a sustainable, market-driven model, First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by making new, high-quality books & educational resources affordable to its network of more than 525,000 registered educators who serve kids in need.

Since 1992, First Book has distributed more learning materials than any other program of its kind: 200 million books & educational resources, worth more than $2 billion, reaching more than 5 million children annually across the U.S. and Canada.

First Book expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises, including First Book Research & Insights, its proprietary research initiative, and the First Book Accelerator, which brings best-in-class research to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources.

First Book Impact Funds target support areas, such as rural communities or increasing diversity in kid’s books.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

First Book launched the Stories for All Project™ as a market-driven solution to increase diverse voices in children’s books. Kids feel that their own stories matter when they see their experiences reflected in books, and they develop curiosity and empathy when they read about experiences different from their own.

With more than 2,000 titles, Stories for All is the largest worldwide collection of diverse content curated for kids in need, with titles that not only reflect diverse cultures and ethnicity, but also different family structures, sexual orientations, individual abilities, religions, and life experiences.

First Book has partnered with publishers and funders to publish new titles and new authors, launch books previously only available in hard-cover in affordable paperback formats, and influence publisher decisions in making new, bilingual titles available at retail.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

First Book Research & Insights is a research initiative that leverages proprietary data generated from more than 25 years of working with educators serving kids in need, combined with publicly available information on a range of poverty measures.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

By removing barriers to educational opportunities for children growing up in low-income families — and supporting the educators who serve them — we can help close the achievement gap and change the trajectory, both for individual children and for our country.

Remove Barriers to Access: Through a sustainable, market-driven model, First Book makes everything from brand new, high-quality, relevant educational resources — including books, sports equipment, winter coats, snacks, and more — deeply affordable to educators and program leaders who serve kids in need. First Book also recruits funding to provide resources to programs that have no budget for books or learning materials.

Aggregate Educators Serving Low-Income Communities: The First Book Network is made up of more than 525,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need in a variety of settings, including classrooms, after school programs, libraries, shelters, early childhood programs, and more. Through surveys, focus groups and formal studies, we aggregate their voices to identify needs and focus investment. First Book also works in partnership with both national and regional nonprofit organizations serving children in need to supply books and resources to them.

Close the "Last Mile" of Education Innovation: First Book also expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises. First Book Research & Insights is First Book's proprietary research initiative built on more than 25 years of listening to feedback from educators working in under-represented communities. The First Book Accelerator brings best-in-class research to these classrooms and programs via relevant, usable educator resources, decreasing time-to-market from years to weeks.

Increase Diversity and Promote Inclusion: Children in need are vastly underrepresented in books. First Book's Stories for All Project™ is the largest worldwide collection of diverse content curated for kids in need. To date, the collection includes more than 2,000 titles, and has launched books previously only available in hard-cover to affordable paperback formats, and partnered with publishers to make new, diverse and bilingual titles available at retail.

As a nonprofit social enterprise, First Book has built an award-winning distribution channel that delivers resources to where they are needed most. The First Book Marketplace (www.fbmarketplace.org), along with its affiliated Canada program (www.fbmpcanada.org), is a nonprofit e-Commerce platform that provides First Book's network of educators with thousands of free and very affordable high-quality, brand new books, educational resources, and basic needs items.

With thousands of items curated in direct response to educator input, the First Book Marketplace reduces the problem of price and distribution, addressing the barriers to education and attendance for kids in need from birth to age 18, including a large collection of relevant diverse and Spanish/bilingual books, school supplies, digital devices, food, clothing, and personal hygiene kits, as well as free teacher resources.

Eligible educators, librarians, providers, and others serving children in need can sign up to receive resources at www.firstbook.org/register. Registration is free and carries no obligation.

Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 200 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in more than 30 countries. With an additional 1,000 educators joining each week, First Book is the largest and fastest-growing network of educators in the United States exclusively serving kids in need.

Learn more in our Impact Report and thru our First Book web site. Please consider a donation to support our mission and help bring equal access to quality reading and educational resources to our kids across the US and Canada. Thank you!

Financials

First Book
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

First Book

Board of directors
as of 11/5/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Martha Molina Bernadett

Molina Foundation

Term: 2017 -

See First Book's website https://firstbook.org/about/first-book-leadership/

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes