What we do today is what matters most

 
 

Orion Advising exists to support social entrepreneurs and mindful funders who are bringing the new economy into alignment.


Two people hiking a mountain trail, just passing a trail marker with a panorama view in the background.

For Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur can be a grinding, lonely path to walk, which is why we need someone to remind us of the joy in the struggle. Let’s partner to create business models that uplift communities and give you self-determination, build the right infrastructure around your idea, and connect with funders who share your vision. Think of me as your coach or your sidekick - I’m not here to solve your problems, I’m here to help you reach your full potential.

Diverse group of people working around a table with laptops and a sheet of paper with graphs and charts in the center.

For Impact Funders

Finding and evaluating the right opportunities can be difficult and time-consuming - some entrepreneurs aren’t truly committed to impact, some don’t have a viable way to pay back. Maybe you’re caught between the importance of metrics and the call to trust in the lived experiences of those seeking to serve their own communities. Let me help you filter through the noise and source the right opportunities to fulfill your mission.


Fish-eye lens view of starry night sky with the Milky Way in view, and the silhouette of a person looking up at it in the center.

Services

Design thinking for business models

Fundraising+strategy

Market research

Evaluation

Adaptive leadership training

Orion Advising is for people who have and are willing to make sacrifices for the new economy, and who trust and instill power in marginalized communities to be the real leaders of change.

Wonder if we’re a good fit? Read About Chuck and check out my Standards of Integrity. Then reach out at chuck@orionadvising.com. And if this quote resonates with you, we’re off to a good start:

We collectively create results that nobody wants because decision-makers are increasingly disconnected from the people affected by their decisions.
— Otto Scharmer (check out u.lab!)


About Chuck

Photo of Chuck facilitating a design thinking workshop, with screen showing a slide about embracing experimentation in the background.

Hey, I’m Chuck. I’m a pretty optimistic guy and I started Orion because I think we can transform this economy without bringing it crashing down - mainly through what we currently call “social enterprise,” but what is really more like an ecosystem rooted in empathy.

I do this work because I grew up with tremendous privilege - from growing up in a wealthy family to being a white, hetero, cisgender, able-bodied and conventionally attractive male. I basically hit the privilege lottery. Which is why I knew early on that my life needed to be about “giving back.”

I learned over time that giving to charities (generally) doesn't address the root causes of inequality. It only provides temporary relief for marginalized people, while leaving our unjust system intact. That includes the system of philanthropy itself, and the ways in which it is intentionally designed to subsidize giving from wealthy at the expense of the public while offering ways for the rich to erase taxes without releasing those funds to nonprofits. Social enterprise feels like the antidote to that - a model to pursue systemic change that creates sufficient value in service of others and in solidarity with poor and working class people.

At the same time, my feelings about “giving back” are evolving again since getting involved with an organization called Resource Generation. When they talk about giving back, they mean give it ALL back, an old idea whose time might finally be coming. Through this lens, I have become more passionate about redistributing my wealth to community organizing groups who are wholly focused on create systemic change, by building the power and leadership of people who are most impacted by injustice in our society.

Some standard CV things about me: BA from UCLA, MBA from Middlebury Institute of International Studies, over a decade of work in the social impact space as a co-founder, activist, impact investor, fundraising professional, and consultant. I also love to study languages and speak Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese with varying degrees of success. Below, see a sample of organizations I have worked and volunteered for.


A view of the San Francisco Bay Bridge lit up in the evening.

Standards

of Integrity

Sense of humor

Humble

Wise

Resilient

Inquisitive

Supportive

Brave

Compassionate

This list is the result of looking deeply into the people I respect and admire the most and identifying the qualities that consistently emerged when I thought about them. I know these are mine - and what I aspire to be - because I see them in others.

Do you see them in yourself? If so, I think we’ll work well together.