Sarah Finnegan, a Chicago area non-profit fundraising professional with deep experience in the health care sector, has joined Thrive Counseling Center as Director of Development.

Ms. Finnegan, who has nearly 30 years of experience in development, marketing, and communications, comes to Thrive from Rush University Medical Center’s Office of Philanthropy. At Rush, Sarah served on the leadership team and guided significant growth during her 14-year tenure, doubling the number of staff and tripling dollars raised annually.

“Sarah is joining Thrive at a critical juncture in our 120 year history and her expertise will help lay the foundation for the future to ensure essential mental health services remain available to the citizens of our community” said Thrive Executive Director, John Meister.

Ms. Finnegan will lead Thrive’s fundraising program and outreach efforts, including the Spring Benefit, set for April 25, as well as efforts to better inform the community about Thrive’s clinical services and wellness programs. She will be a key member of the Thrive executive team and will work closely with the Resource Development Committee.

Ms. Finnegan is well-known to the Oak Park and River Forest community as the first development director at Sarah’s Inn, the Oak Park-based domestic violence agency, as a former Thrive board member, and as a volunteer for numerous other local organizations.

Returning to Thrive as development director brings together Ms. Finnegan’s professional skills and her longtime interest in ensuring services for vulnerable individuals, especially those with mental health needs.

“Awareness of the importance of behavioral health services has never been higher, both locally and nationally,” said Ms. Finnegan. “Thrive is an essential resource to our community and I am honored to join Thrive’s board and staff as we build awareness and support for this already vibrant agency.”

Ms. Finnegan’s professional experience is broad and deep. During her years at Rush, she oversaw Annual Giving campaigns, Alumni Relations, Alumni Major Gifts, Events, Stewardship and Communications. In addition to her work at Sarah’s Inn, Ms. Finnegan assisted educational and human service organizations with branding and communications challenges as a consultant at Lipman Hearne in Chicago. She also has held positions in economic development and bank marketing.

Ms. Finnegan graduated from Santa Clara University and holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of International Management at Arizona State University. She has lived in Oak Park since 1993.

Thrive Counseling Center, located at 120 S. Marion St., is Oak Park’s Community Mental Health Center. For more information, call Thrive at 708-383-7500 or visit the Thrive website at

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