Paul and Mary Finnegan

NET WORTH: Unknown 

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Madison Dearborn Partners, First Chicago Venture Capital 

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Health, Human Services, Global, Chicago Community

OVERVIEW: Paul Finnegan and his wife Mary conduct their philanthropy through the Finnegan Family Foundation. The couple bankrolls youth and education organizations, primarily in the Chicago area. Another interest is human services.

BACKGROUND: A native of Massachusetts, Paul Finnegan attended Phillips Academy and then Harvard, where he received A.B. and MBA degrees. He held a variety of marketing positions in the publishing industry, both in the United States and in Southeast Asia. Finnegan was with First Chicago Venture Capital for ten years and later co-founded Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP). 


EDUCATION & YOUTH: The family is based in Evanston, Illinois, where they have given seven-figure sums to Youth & Opportunity United (YOU), a local nonprofit that works with underserved teens. Mary sits on the YOU board as well as the board of Evanston Scholars, which the Finnegans support. Other grantees include Academy for Urban School Leadership, Cherry Preschool, Citizen Schools, IMentor, KIPP Chicago Schools, Noble Network of Charter Schools, Ounce of Prevention, and Teach for America, where Finnegan is a past chairman and current board member of Teach For America in Chicago, as well as a member of Teach For America’s national board. Finnegan is a member of the Harvard Corporation. The Finnegans are are also steady supporters of Chicago-area schools Northwestern University and University of Chicago.

HUMAN SERVICES: Grantees include Metropolitan Family Services, Curt's Cafe in Evanston, which "provides training and job placement for at-risk youth, supports community food enterprises, and promotes local artists and musicians," Greater Chicago Food Depository, and Salvation Army

HEALTH: Support has gone to Erie Family Health Center, and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, among others.

OTHER: The Finnegans have shown support for A Better Chicago, which "enables people and companies who are passionate about our community to invest in a group of extraordinary nonprofits that are creating opportunity for our region's low-income population," as well as global organizations such as Heifer International.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the couple's support of education and youth organizations to continue.


Finnegan Family Foundation
33 N. Dearborn, No. 2230
Chicago, IL 60602