Photo by Matthew Holler


The Best Pitch I Ever Got

Rob Funderburg

Philanthropy has long played an important role in Rob Funderburg’s life.  “My parents were role models in that sense,” he says. “They volunteered for all kinds of different things, helping patients at the local hospital, being in charge of fundraising campaigns for major institutions. That was pretty much the environment in which I grew up.” Which explains why, even as he served as chairman of his family-owned Alpine Bank in Rockford, Ill., Funderburg, 57, spent a significant amount of time volunteering and raising money for causes within the areas of education, economic development, healthcare, arts and sciences and social services. He even started dating his now-wife, Cathy, while the two served as founding members of the junior council of the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. “We’d been friends before that, but working together for a common purpose really drew us together. And the rest is history,” he says, laughing. For Funderburg, the best donation “asks” combine several components. “There has to be some sort of alignment with the donor’s interests,” he says. “That’s very important. A compelling story is very important. Also, the potential for positive impact as the result of supporting one thing versus another is important. And the people making the ask have to have the ability to communicate clearly what the opportunity is and why it’s important.” When he and Cathy moved to Naples in 2017, they reached o
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