Bethany Chisholm Named Director of Development [press release]

The Board of Directors of The Rosenbach is pleased to announce the appointment of Bethany Chisholm as the Director of Development after serving as Interim Director of Development since January 2021. Chisholm was promoted to Assistant Director of Development in 2020 and led The Rosenbach’s fundraising through the tumultuous early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping the organization reach its financial goals. Simultaneously, Chisholm spearheaded The Rosenbach’s new Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Committee, formalizing institutional DEAI commitments for the Board of Directors, staff, and programming. In March 2021, Chisholm founded the Young Friends of The Rosenbach Committee to continue expanding the organization’s audience, scope, and accessibility. 

“Bethany has brought fundraising expertise to The Rosenbach in the very areas where the institution has needed it most,” said Executive Director Kelsey Bates. “She has focused on access, new audience growth, and creating opportunities for people to support programs and projects that feature the Rosenbach’s unique collection.” 

Chisholm joined The Rosenbach as its Manager of Events in 2019, as the organization was experiencing rapid growth following successful programs such as the Moby-Dick Marathon, Reading Courses, and the annual Bloomsday festival. In her first year, Chisholm expanded fund development initiatives across The Rosenbach, bringing fresh strategies and perspective to the table.  

“The writings of Toni Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, and Phillis Wheatley shaped my identity and ideals growing up,” said Chisholm, “so it feels like fate brought me to The Rosenbach, where I can share my love of these writers with others.” The Rosenbach has another reason to celebrate Chisholm’s leadership, “I am incredibly proud to be The Rosenbach’s first woman of color in a senior leadership position,” she said, “and I’m excited for our future.” 

 Chisholm brings over eight years of fund development experience in Philadelphia nonprofits. She was most recently the Director of Development of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance and worked closely with humanities collections while she was the Manager of Annual Giving and Special Events at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  

She is from the Greater Boston area and attended the University of Massachusetts Boston. Chisholm now lives in the Point Breeze neighborhood with her husband Justin and serves as the President of the nonprofit Neighbors Investing in Childs Elementary.