Dr. Tom Dovel devised a project in 1990 for his marketing class at a university in Dayton, Ohio with a special purpose in mind. Dr. Dovel served on the board of a wish granting organization and wanted to show his students how rewarding it could be to give to others less fortunate. Dr. Dovel soon realized that the e-strategies, tactics and ethical considerations that he and his class developed would be beneficial to other wish and dream granting organizations. In 1992, Dr Dovel hosted the first "Conference of Wish Granting Organizations" in Dayton, Ohio.
It was his belief that membership in such an organization would facilitate the flow of open and positive communications between the various wish and dream granting organizations, and ultimately benefit the people served by them.
Over the next few years, meetings were held and an interim board was established. The Association of Wish Granting Organizations, Inc. was formally established in 1995 as a 501(c)3 not for profit organization.