This research develops a model of consumer response to charity appeals. Using the Extended Parallel Process Model from the fear appeal literature as a foundation, the current model proposes that empathy and self-efficacy generate guilt and reduce maladaptive responses, which, in turn, shapes donation intention. The results demonstrate that the impact of empathy on charitable donation intention is fully mediated by guilt and maladaptive responses. The impact of self-efficacy is partially mediated by guilt and maladaptive responses. Therefore, both empathy and self-efficacy determine whether guilt or maladaptive responses result. This model clarifies the process through which guilt appeals operate, by identifying the roles of empathy and self-efficacy. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.