Nonprofit Connect honors H&R Block at philanthropy awards luncheon
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.
H&R Block co-founder Henry Bloch meets with incoming president and CEO, Jeff Jones.
Serita Eldridge empowers a team of H&R Block associates to volunteer one day at the Ozarks Food Harvest in Springfield, Missouri.
H&R Block’s nonprofit referral program generated donations for more than 2,400 nonprofits this year, totaling more than $1 million for the second straight year.
The children and grandchildren of 10 H&R Block associates won $10,000 each in college scholarships from H&R Block.