woman handing a child and a parent a book during the holiday season

3rd Annual Give a Million Holiday Fundraising Campaign

National nonprofit raising $1 million in donations to provide 1 million books to kids in need for the holidays.

November 15, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, First Book, the largest online community of educators serving kids in poverty, announced the launch of its annual holiday giving campaign to raise $1 million to provide 1 million new, high-quality books to kids in need. Give a Million, the end-of-year fundraising initiative that runs through December 31, sets an ambitious goal culminating in the gift of a new, high-quality book to 1 million children living in poverty to take home this holiday season. In the United States, more than 60 percent of low-income families have no children’s books in their homes.

First Book’s network of more than 525,000 educators, librarians, providers, and others who work specifically with children in need are sharing their “book wish” for the holidays, explaining how they would distribute the books and what the gift would mean to the children they serve. With the help of generous donors and First Book partners, First Book will fulfill educator requests to give the gift of a new book to children this holiday season.

“For many kids, it will be the first book they have ever owned or the only gift they will receive during the holidays. New books provide a powerful sense of self-esteem and open the whole world for the children we serve. The gift of a book is invaluable,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book’s President, CEO, and Co-founder.

woman handing a child and a parent a book during the holiday season

Impact from the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted classroom learning, exacerbated socioeconomic disparities across the country, strained school budgets and resources, and amplified mental and emotional health challenges for students. Surveys of members in First Book’s network affirm educators’ concerns about student well-being as the CDC reports spikes in mental health emergencies for children over the past year. Still, as educators face continued challenges relating to the pandemic, their top funding priority is investing in books, with an overwhelming 99 percent of educators in the First Book Network prioritizing books for the students they serve in their own classroom or program. Educators report that books act as a simple yet effective tool to address a broad range of students’ needs from promoting social-emotional health, to supporting struggling readers, and offering stories that reflect diversity.

First Book’s work has always been informed and driven by the needs of educators and the students and families they serve. This holiday season First Book will continue a tradition of answering educators’ holiday book wishes and distributing books that children can take home to cherish, starting or adding to a home library for the whole family.

Starting today, donations will be maximized on First Book Matching Days. On selected days, including December 15-16 as well as Giving Tuesday and more, First Book partners are doubling the impact of donations.

Learn more about Give a Million and how your donation will impact a child this holiday season.

Media Contacts + Information

Visit our press room for additional information, including our media kit and contact information.

About First Book

Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1992 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is a leader in the educational equity field. Over its 29-year history, First Book has distributed more than 200 million books and educational resources, with a retail value of more than $2 billion. First Book believes education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its Network of more than 500,000 registered teachers, librarians, after school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit eCommerce site. The First Book Network comprises the largest and fastest-growing community of formal and informal educators serving children in need.

First Book also 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-based strategies to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources. First Book Impact Funds target support to areas of need, such as rural communities or increasing diversity in children’s books.

image of an educator reading to two kids from a picture book. There is text that says, 'Matching Challenge: Be a Champion for Educators! Your gift by May 31 can go twice as far to provide new, high-quality books and other resources educators need to help students unlock their full potential.' There is a red button in the bottom, right corner that says, 'I'll give now'.