Nonprofit Connect honors H&R Block at philanthropy awards luncheon

May 16, 2018 : Annelise Wiens

Tom_Gerke_at_Nonprofit_Connect

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.

Learn more about Nonprofit Connect and H&R Block’s engagement in Kansas City.

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Annelise Wiens

Annelise Wiens

Former Editor and Producer

As the former newsroom editor, Annelise Wiens was interested in more than just tax and industry news, but the stories of H&R Block's 80,000 associates, their communities and H&R Block's world headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. Wiens joined H&R Block in 2014 from a public relations agency, where she worked with clients in the financial services industry. Before that, she worked as a communicator for a senior member of the United States House of Representatives. She graduated from Biola University in La Mirada, CA with a bachelor's degree in history.

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