Meet Your SIETAR USA Sponsor Partner Development Director: Caliopy GlarosJan 10, 2022
How did Caliopy get into the intercultural field and where did her fundraising experience come from? Her story begins when her parents immigrated to the United States from Greece. Caliopy lived in Greece as a toddler then returned for U.S. schooling. She formed many warm, childhood memories in Greece and brought back some Greek traditions.
Caliopy’s intercultural experience started early as a “lifelong outsider”, not belonging anywhere but potentially belonging everywhere. She attended a boarding school in Texas where she had many international friends. After visiting a Japanese friend in Japan as a teenager, she decided she wanted to be a fashion designer in Japan and received her first college degree in product development. In the first job of her career, she traveled to several countries to oversee the factory processes, and while she was well prepared with knowledge of supply chain and production, she received zero cultural training. Wanting to learn more about the people she was working with in the various countries, she got to know them socially and realized that the improved social relations helped smooth interactions on the factory floor, ultimately improving the company’s bottom line. Taking that information to management, she asked that they add cultural training to prepare and support staff but received an indifferent response.
Thinking that perhaps higher credentials might make a difference, she returned to college to pursue a degree in Anthropology and Adult Learning. Through that degree program she took her first intercultural communication course that illuminated the trajectory for the rest of her life. Her professor encouraged her to attend the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) in 2013, which ultimately introduced her to SIETAR. She moved to Japan later that year and immediately became involved with SIETAR Japan.
Upon returning to the United States, she took a job in fundraising with an organization that sent medical teams overseas, mostly to Central Asia. She knew that the clinicians needed cultural training and so in her spare time she developed the organization’s first intercultural training program for volunteer clinicians. The program was so successful that many of those clinicians hired her to create programs for their medical students. Having the unique background in fundraising and intercultural communication caught the eye of other NGOS, who then hired her to develop intercultural training programs for the donors.
While attending the 2017 SIETAR USA conference in San Diego she met Randy Stieghorst and Monica Marcel who inspired her to turn her “side hustle” into a full-time business. In 2018, she formalized her fundraising and intercultural experience creating Philanthropy without Borders. Caliopy describes Philanthropy without Borders as a “boutique consulting firm that helps mission-driven organizations engage their supporters, fortify operations, and mobilize resources to tackle the world’s toughest problems. Our expertise lies at the nexus of strategy, ethical storytelling, donor engagement, and donor immersion, where we provide strategic guidance on opportunities that inspire generosity, cultivate empathy, deepen learning, and connect people across cultures in mutually beneficial ways.” Caliopy considers herself a bridge and a collaborator, developing fundraising strategies for clients and providing overseas experiences for donors. After a decade of part-time consulting and nearly 4 years into her full-time consulting business, Caliopy has worked in 30 countries and delivered programs virtually in over 60 countries.
SIETAR USA is indeed fortunate that Caliopy is willing to serve on the Board of Directors and we look forward to many years of her involvement!