The organization formed in 1995 in Berkley by students who wanted vegan alternatives at the campus cafeteria. The certification program began in 1998, although the symbol was only recently licensed (trademarked).
Vegan Action receives donations from interested individuals, and grants from larger animal welfare groups and foundations. It does not received grants from companies, although it recently began posting advertisements on its website for payment. There is a $120 annual fee for certification that pays for the certification program.
The Executive Director makes most decisions regarding certification, and consults with the Board of Directors in more complex/controversial cases.