Reeb Avenue Center

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Working together to bring hope to the South Side

A vision to reinvent the vacant Reeb Avenue Elementary School to house necessary services for neighborhood residents of all ages required major fundraising to become a reality.

When then-Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman called for a massive renewal effort to combat high unemployment and poverty on the South Side, an innovative partnership model took shape to fund and provide these services at the historic building.

This new public-private model secured city, state, and federal funding, along with corporate and individual donors, in-kind gifts, and major contributions led by three families with deep ties to the South Side.

Mollard Consulting served as a leader in this multi-year project. We helped raise $17 million for the 67,000-square-foot Reeb Avenue Center — for capital, endowment, and first-year operations — and acted as the point of contact for the building’s renovation, tenants, donors, and public officials involved.

Specific project work included:

  • Launching the new nonprofit, including crafting the mission, vision, and value statements, and governance practices and policies
  • Designing the fundraising strategy, participating in countless donor tours, and writing grant proposals
  • Creating a multi-year proforma as part of a financial and operating model
  • Navigating the state of Ohio’s capital budget process for additional project funding
  • Building relationships with the center’s 14 tenants and creating their leases
  • Working collaboratively with all involved to operationalize the vision

Today, the center’s tenants provide essential services such as early learning, after-school programs, adult learning, job training, addiction recovery, housing support, food access, and wellness programs.

We continue to partner with the Reeb Avenue Center, volunteering our leadership to launch the Reeb Advisory Council.

The South Side is one of eight Columbus neighborhoods targeted by CelebrateOne, another Mollard Consulting nonprofit partner.