Cause-related Marketing (CrM) has become an increasingly popular marketing approach over the past two decades. However, neither researchers nor organizations fully understand the determinants of a successful CrM partnership. This research fills this gap. Specifically, we employ the schema theory to explore circumstances in which the CrM alliance cannot achieve a success. We use a theoretical modeling approach to report that, when consumers’ typicality-based cognitive process is assumed, the CrM activity with the partners’ more-discrepant attribute profile cannot be evaluated favorably, but the attribute-level uncertainty about the CrM alliance is less likely to feedback to the two partners. Furthermore, we argue that, under the schema-plus-tag model, consumers may not like the CrM program with a similar attribute profile. Therefore, this CrM approach may fail. To our knowledge, we are the first to apply the schema theory to explain how a CrM alliance can achieve a success.