Skip to Content
Our Team

Intentional. Enthusiastic. Passionate.

We’re tenacious when it comes to doing good.

Return on Good seeks people, like you, who want to do good too.

Our team is creative, compassionate, and laser-focused about connecting good with giving. In a world of people making lives better through their time, treasure, and talent, our creative geniuses, analytic enthusiasts, and strategy gurus are linking thought leaders with huge hearts, needed resources with extraordinary missions and we’re doing it all with clear vision.

We believe that life is meant to be lived fully. And, like you, we want to leave a legacy of goodness in our wake. We’re dedicated to helping our partners achieve their goals – respectfully, confidentially, and enthusiastically.

In short, you’re going to love working with the Return on Good team. The ROG team is hand chosen by our partners based on you and your specific project goals. The network of collaborators on your team are brilliant, experienced people who thrive on building a unique solution to realize and grow your hopes and dreams. Find out more about our experts in the areas of: strategy, marketing, fundraising, research, grant writing, communications, ESG and other specific topics. 

But there’s more. Not only do we have an extensive team of partners for your specific project, but we have another layer of expertise that we bring into each project. The next level is our Wisdom Council. 

Meet the Return on Good Team

When Ann Oleson and Jay Kelly founded Return on Good, they knew they wanted to work with every single client and get to know each one personally and professionally.

They knew they wanted to keep their team small and filled with the best of the best. They didn’t have to look far: They’ve worked with these individuals for 30+ years and on hundreds of projects. In each, they see themselves: Professional, passionate, people-oriented individuals who truly want to be of service and do good in the world. Meet Ann and Jay and the rest of the Return on Good team.

Jey Kelly headshot

Jay Kelly, Founder & Partner

An entrepreneur and a marketing and sales enthusiast, Jay co-founded Return on Good with a desire to put his time and talents to use to do even more good in the world. Prior to starting Return on Good, Jay was president and co-founder of a digital marketing agency that was named an Inc. 500 and 5000 fastest-growing company for four consecutive years. It was acquired by a private equity firm seven years after being founded. Jay has held leadership positions in account and sales management with media and communications leaders, including The New York Times, TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, Young & Rubicam, and Subaru of America. 

Education: BA in Communications, Rowan University. Certificate in Executive Leadership, Cornell University

Philanthropic Passions: 

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Food Sustainability
  • Clean Energy & the Environment 

Ann Oleson, Founder & Partner

As a founding partner at Return on Good, Ann is a passionate advocate for using time, talent and treasure to make the world a truly better place. Return on Good, a strategic philanthropy company focused on helping its clients do the most good in the world, centers on her deep experience with her own family’s family office, leading investment and philanthropy, and drives her dedication for her work. Her love rests firmly in the dynamics of the family office, the complexities of organizational structure and design, an alignment for decision-making and the ability to make exceptional opportunities toward a return on good to the world. Ann’s interest in impact investment, philanthropic strategy and her savvy with streamlining it all lead her to start Return on Good with her husband, Jay Kelly. ROG uniquely partners with phenomenal clients to develop engagement strategies for philanthropic investment, working with family offices across the globe. Through impact investing, sustainable investing, Venture Funds and strategic giving, ROG is the ideal connector to bring high-impact family offices into meaningful relationships with deserving nonprofits and innovative organizations.

Education: BS in Marketing (Suma Cum Laude with Honors), Iowa State University; MBA coursework, the University of Iowa; Certificate, Women on Corporate Boards Readiness Program, Santa Clara University.

Philanthropic Passions: 

  • Educational Equity
  • Food Security
  • Women in Leadership
Brian Gowar

Brian Gawor, CFRE

A self-proclaimed “giving geek” and donor enthusiast, Brian provides data-driven and action-oriented insights for donors and fundraisers that help amplify the joy of giving. Over his 25-year career, Brian has served in key leadership roles in fundraising, higher education and research. He has helped donors direct over $20M in giving and provided strategy that led to over $1B in donations. For the past decade, Brian has led research for a major donor engagement corporation. He previously served as director of development in major gifts for the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University and co-led the $3M annual giving effort at Knox College. 

Education: PhD candidate, Illinois State University, with a research focus on changing donor interests during the global pandemic; MS in College Student Personnel, Western Illinois University; BA in Political Science, Knox College. 

Philanthropic Passions: 

  • Universal Access to Quality Education
  • Social Justice
  • LGBTQIA+ Rights