Nonprofit Connect honors H&R Block at philanthropy awards luncheon
Tom Gerke accepts the business philanthropist of the year award from Nonprofit Connect at its 34th annual philanthropy awards luncheon May 16, 2018.
Nonprofit Connect, a Kansas City-based association that serves nonprofits, hosted its 34th annual philanthropy awards luncheon Wednesday. Tom Gerke, general counsel and chief administrative officer, was there to receive the business philanthropist of the year award on behalf of H&R Block, whose world headquarters are in downtown Kansas City.
“The work of the philanthropists, volunteers and nonprofit professionals that Nonprofit Connect brought together and honored for this luncheon is impressive. I’m proud that our associates have supported our community efforts at a level that allows us to stand beside them as we are honored today,” Gerke said.
H&R Block has been in Kansas City since its founding in 1955 when brothers Henry and Richard Bloch started doing taxes as an add-on service for their business clients. Since then, the company has grown across the nation and the world, while maintaining its roots in Kansas City.
One of H&R Block’s major initiatives each year is its United Way campaign, which not only allows associates of the H&R Block downtown headquarters to direct their donations to serving Kansas City, but H&R Block’s associates across the nation can direct their donations to their own communities. In the last three years, H&R Block associates have donated $1.5 million to United Way.
The H&R Block Foundation grants about $3 million annually to nonprofit organizations in Kansas City that support arts and culture, neighborhood revitalization, education, health and human service, issues close to the Bloch brothers.
“We all know about Henry’s love of art and Richard’s commitment to support people battling cancer, which are values they instilled in the company and have lived on for decades. They also were very committed to Kansas City and recognized their success came from the people here,” said Gerke. “Kansas City continues to be an important part of H&R Block’s identity and we are happy to call it home.”
H&R Block has also given away more than $10 million in grants and scholarships as part of the H&R Block Dollars and Sense program that teachers high school students financial literacy through its annual Budget Challenge and other initiatives. One of last year’s five Budget Challenge winners was from Piper High School.
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