||Appeals for time and money to help people in need often encourage recipients to imagine themselves in the situation that confronts these individuals. However, this strategy may not always be effective. The present research investigated several factors that potentially affect the impact of a donation appeal, including the perspectives that recipients have at the time they receive the appeal, the perspective from which the appeal is written, self-awareness, and recipients similarity to the victims. Experiments 1 - 4 showed that when participants take a perspective that is consistent with the perspective from which the appeal is written, characteristics of appeal (e.g. a picture of a victim) that increase vividness of the situation viewed from this perspective increases the effectiveness of the appeal. When people take a perspective which is inconsistent with the perspective from which the appeal is written, however, the same characteristics have a negative effect. Experiments 5 and 6 examined the role of self-awareness and similarity and showed that participants’ similarity to the victims described in the donation appeals had a more pronounced effect when participants were self-aware than when they were not. The implications of these findings are discussed.