Educational Institutions

First Book

  • Washington, DC
  • www.firstbook.org

Mission Statement

First Book provides access to new books to children in need.

Main Programs

  1. New books to kids
Service Areas

Self-reported

District of Columbia

First Book serves programs at the national and international level.

ruling year

1992

President and CEO since 1992

Self-reported

Mrs. Kyle Zimmer

Keywords

Self-reported

low-income, children, poverty, literacy, books, reading, community-building, organizing, hurricane relief, school supplies, title I schools, headstart centers

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EIN

52-1779606

 Number

5726933238

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

At First Book, our innovative approaches tackle the single biggest barrier to the development of literacy – access to books.

To date, First Book has provided more than 130 million books to children in need, increasing access to needed materials for educators and administrators, and helping to elevate educational opportunities for our nation’s most disadvantaged youth.

But that’s just the beginning – our successes, while impressive, have only reached a small fraction of the population in need in the United States. We have more work to do, more audiences to reach, more educators and administrators to empower, and ultimately more children who need books and quality educational opportunities – and we cannot do it alone.

We don’t want to fight illiteracy – we want to end it. By working together, we can and will create a generation of lifelong readers and achievers.
- See more at: http://www.firstbook.org/first-book-story/overcoming-illiteracy#sthash.JIpgpJne.dpuf

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

New books to kids

To provide brand new books to children in need.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

95,000,000

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

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

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    End illiteracy! By working together, we can and will create a generation of lifelong readers and achievers. - See more at: http://www.firstbook.org/first-book-story/overcoming-illiteracy#sthash.JIpgpJne.dpuf
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Give brand-new, age-appropriate books to children in need.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    We put groundbreaking ideas to work

    We’re trailblazing new ways of doing good by applying smart business practices to make books available, affordable and accessible to educators serving the children in greatest need. First Book is building the first fully inclusive online community of programs and schools serving disadvantaged children and providing them access to educational resources like never before. First Book has created two innovative and powerful distribution channels: The First Book Marketplace and the First Book National Book Bank.
    First Book Marketplace

    Available only to community programs and schools serving children in need, our award-winning online site offers an astonishing array of high-quality new books – including Caldecott and Newbery winners – at prices 50 to 90 percent below retail.

    By combining the purchasing power of schools and programs into a single powerful network, First Book can provide a wide array of new titles at unprecedented prices. We work with more than 90 leading publishers, and more join with us each month. Our network represents a new customer base for them, and they know that the future of publishing depends on helping to create a new generation of readers.

    First Book National Book Bank

    Publishers have millions of new books that, each year, go unread. At the same time, educators don’t have nearly enough books to reach the millions of children who need them.

    First Book created the first and only clearinghouse for publishers’ excess inventory, one that gives them an efficient way to donate large quantities of books – for free – to thousands of programs serving children in greatest need. The Book Bank helps children get more educational resources and also contributes to a stronger, more vibrant publishing industry.

    By making large-scale donations to the First Book National Book Bank, publishing companies save the cost of multiple book shipments to fulfill donation requests and can refer organizations requesting book donations to First Book.
    - See more at: http://www.firstbook.org/first-book-story/innovation-in-publishing#sthash.rmyX0XDF.dpuf
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    At First Book, we're focused on results, both for the children and the programs we serve.

    Outcomes for Children
    A 14-month longitudinal study of 2,564 students found that First Book:

    Improves interest in reading. Students demonstrating a 'high interest' in reading nearly tripled after receiving books from First Book.
    Increases children's desire to learn. 69% of program administrators found books from First Book were "very important" in children’s decisions to read more and improve their reading skills.
    Increases reading at home. More than 70% of children reported increased home literacy activities after receiving books from First Book.

    Outcomes for Schools and Programs
    A survey of 1,800 members of the First Book network of schools and programs found that First Book:

    Increases educational opportunities. 99.1% said new books from First Book would allow them to increase educational opportunities or activities, including parent involvement.
    Increases volunteer engagement. 96.5% of those using volunteers said their current volunteers would be more engaged if given the opportunity to distribute First Book resources.

    - See more at: http://www.firstbook.org/first-book-story/our-impact#sthash.9kq1fiBu.dpuf
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Please see our Impact Report at:

    http://www.firstbook.org/first-book-story
Service Areas

Self-reported

District of Columbia

First Book serves programs at the national and international level.

Social Media

Accreditations

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

FIRST BOOK
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

First Book

Leadership

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  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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President and CEO

Mrs. Kyle Zimmer

BIO

In 1992, Kyle Zimmer, then a corporate attorney, was volunteering at a soup kitchen in Washington DC. Realizing that the kids she was working with had no books in their lives, she set out with some friends to build a market-driven solution to the problem of access. Under Kyle’s leadership, First Book distributes millions of new books and educational resources every year to the largest and fastest growing network of schools and programs across the United States and Canada – over 162,000 at last count – and growing by more than 5,000 per month.

First Book has pioneered groundbreaking new models, including the First Book National Book Bank, which serves as the nation’s largest clearinghouse for new books donated by publishers, and the First Book Marketplace, an award-winning, self-sustaining program that purchases new books and makes them available to educators and program leaders at unprecedented prices.

Kyle’s commitment to innovation and collaboration has earned her a reputation as a social sector leader. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Ashoka, which works to support the finest social entrepreneurs in more than 70 countries. She also serves on the Youth Venture Board of Directors and as a member of the board for James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead.Kyle is a passionate advocate for social entrepreneurship, educational equity, and the importance of literacy to further economic competitiveness and global understanding. Among her awards is the National Education Association Foundation’s Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education (2013) and the National Book Foundation's Literarian Award (2014). Kyle and First Book were featured onstage by President Bill Clinton at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative. She was a presenter at the University of Oxford’s “Power Shift: Forum for Women in the World Economy” at the Saïd Business School at Oxford and she also in a regular lecturer at the Wharton School of Business and Columbia Business School. She participated in the World Economic Forum in Dubai in 2014, was a presenter and blogger at the World Economic Forum in Beijing in 2012. She served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Entrepreneurship, and was featured as a presenter at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2010. In 2009, Kyle was honored as a Carle Honors Angel Award recipient. She was named the first-ever American Marketing Association Nonprofit Marketer of the Year in 2008 and Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year in the United States in 2007 by the Geneva-based Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. She is currently serving as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Values. - See more at: http://www.firstbook.org/first-book-story/first-book-leadership#zimmer

STATEMENT FROM THE President and CEO

"First Book provides access to new books for children in need.

To date, First Book has distributed more than 130 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education by making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis.

We are proud of our past success and even more excited about the future. First Book is uniquely positioned to become a leader in providing digital resources so that children in need don’t miss out.

No matter how formats and technologies change, children from low-income families will still need access to rich and varied content. First Book is helping guide the publishing industry as it evolves so that all children can benefit from new technologies and flourish as readers."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mrs. Peter Gold

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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?