Kristiana Tarnuzzer created The Cause Bar after spending way too much time searching for ways to give back and to help others learn about new causes to support. Every year we see the outpouring of generosity and attention the holiday “give back season” gets, or how beautifully and quickly people just jump in and give everything they can in crisis mode situations. Imagine if we spread that outpouring of service and giving back across the entire year? People just need to be motivated, reminded and inspired to do so. So that’s where The Cause Bar comes in – they get that people are busy. As a busy mother of 2, Kristiana understands the overwhelming feeling of trying to juggle day to day life. The Cause Bar doesn’t try to make living a social good lifestyle something extra you need to do, but something you can incorporate into what you’re already doing. When you’re planning a date night or GNO, The Cause Bar talks about upcoming fundraising events so you can consider peppering them into your social calendar. Kristina’s hope is that you will feel more educated and inspired to “do good” in whatever way you choose. CLICK HERE to visit her website.
MINI MAVEN: What inspired the birth of The Cause Bar?
KRISTIANA TARNUZZER: After years of seeing my own friends and network want to get more involved and asking me how they can do it, to repeatedly seeing how generous people are during the holiday “give back season” and in times of need, it was just time – I couldn’t sit around anymore and not offer something to this huge pool of people who were looking for clarity and motivation on how to give back more often.
MM: What led you to transition into the philanthropic field?
KT: I’m not sure I ever actually transitioned into it, it’s just been who I was and what I’ve done since a young age. The concept of being of service and feeling grateful for what I had was instilled in me at a young age I think largely in part due to my Ukrainian heritage – I had family there who I knew didn’t have a lot of the things my family and I had here in the US, so I started volunteering a lot and donating items to support them.
MM: How do you think The Cause Bar helps to improve the lives of others?
KT:We all have a TON going on – we’re moms, we’re caretakers, we’re employees, we’re entrepreneurs. Historically, the idea of “giving back” has always equated to having to do more. I’ve dedicated my time to getting through the hurdles of navigating brands, causes, and events, carefully curating all of the above, to make The Cause Bar a one-stop shop for ideas, inspiration and immediate ways for the conscious consumer and thoughtful citizen to give back. We do the work so you don’t have to – you can instead spend your time learning more, and getting involved in whatever way you can!
MM: What other philanthropic organizations does The Cause Bar collaborate with?
KT: There are so many organizations doing incredible work for a variety of causes! Most recently, we highlighted organizations raising awareness and providing support and resources for mental health, we covered an event I attended for NoKidHungry who provides nutritious meals to children in schools, and documented a bus trip I took to Tijuana with This is About Humanity, a local LA-based organization dedicated to directing funds and awareness to support separated and reunited families, refugees and asylum seekers.
MM: Tell us about the types of fundraising events you are involved in?
KT:I love attending events, I always leave with a handful of new friends that share a passion. When you get to experience something firsthand and in person, you create a stronger connection – so when you sign up to volunteer with an organization or go to an event to dive deeper on their work, you are immediately more engaged, more knowledgeable and more capable of assessing whether you want to continue to support that cause/organization further and if so, how. I’ve been to everything from fashion shows, wine and food tastings, film screenings, panels and conferences, shopping popups, galas, beach parties…they have become a routine part of my social life with friends, family outings and date nights with my husband!
MM: Tell us about the Shop! What sort of brands do you feature on your website?
KT:In our curated collection of brands, I highlight brands that have a higher purpose – the ones that are doing something for the greater good, versus just focusing on making a profit. Criteria include incorporating a give back model, a transparent supply chain, being ethically, sustainably, locally, or artisan made, and/or being a B Corp, Fair Trade Certified or a social enterprise brand.
MM: How do you educate and inspire children to live a socially good lifestyle?
KT: Right now, my children are 5 and 2, so it’s all about teaching empathy, talking about the causes we support, respecting our planet, practicing small acts of kindness, and traveling to show that people and places are different…and different is good!
MM: What’s the best part of your job?
KT: Can I say two? ☺
- Being able to do work that is part of the change I wish to see
- The people I meet – I continue to be so incredibly inspired and motivated (not to mention, so extremely impressed) by the movers and shakers in the space who I have the absolute pleasure of being connected to and learning from on a daily basis.
MM: What advice would you give women and children who are looking to get involved but don’t know where to start?
KT: Well, I’d be silly if I didn’t say come check out The Cause Bar to start! But I do get asked the question a lot of around where someone can start dedicating their time/money/expertise as it pertains to giving back. My answer (actually, a question) is always the same: “What tugs at your heart strings?” Once you identify that thing, or those things, your search becomes more focused on causes and organizations to support – and, as in typical Universe style – opportunities start presenting themselves!