Mark Vadon: Tech Grants

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Blue Nile, Zulily

FUNDING AREAS: Indigenous Causes, TBD

OVERVIEW: Mark Vadon moves philanthropy through the Vadon Foundation, which supports innovative community-based initiatives that sustain healthy thriving indigenous nations in perpetuity. The foundation recently distributed half of its assets and foundation co-founder and director Mattie Vadon resigned from the board.

BACKGROUND: Mark Vadon graduated with an A.B. in social studies from Harvard College in 1992, and received his MBA from Stanford in 1997. He spent six years with Bain & Company before founding online jewelry retailer Blue Nile in 1999. He took the company public in 2004, and then launched a new online retailer, Zulily, offering daily merchandise deals geared toward mothers and their children. Vadon was also chairman of Chewy.


INDIGENOUS NATIONS: The Vadon Foundation “supports innovative community-based initiatives that sustain healthy thriving indigenous nations in perpetuity.” It supports programs to ensure that “every successive generation of indigenous people and culture will face an increasingly brighter future of healthy self-determination, autonomy, evolution, and sustainability.” The foundation’s website does not provide much information about recent grantees.

OTHER: In the past, Mark Vadon and family via their foundation directed money to places like Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Children’s Tumor Foundation, Seattle Symphony, Northwest Harvest, Rainier Valley Food Bank, Bertschi School, and Rwanda Girls Initiative.

LOOKING FORWARD: Vadon family philanthropy is in a period of flux but should be watched in this new grantmaking category in the coming years.


Vadon Foundation
1201 Western Avenue, Suite 406 
Seattle, Washington 98101 

LINK: Vadon Foundation