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Charities Feel Pinch Amid Chesapeake Restructuring

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For the United Way, 2012's Chesapeake fundraiser produced $5.5 million, the biggest yet for the energy company. But that was then. Now, with increased anxiety as employees are let go, the giving is not the same across the board. For the United Way, 2012's Chesapeake fundraiser produced $5.5 million, the biggest yet for the energy company. But that was then. Now, with increased anxiety as employees are let go, the giving is not the same across the board.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Charities throughout the Oklahoma City metro are counting on fresh donations to raise cash as one of the state's largest benefactors continues to lay off employees.

As more pink slips are delivered at Chesapeake Energy, nonprofits are feeling the pinch.

For the United Way, 2012's Chesapeake fundraiser produced $5.5 million, the biggest yet for the energy company. But that was then. Now, with increased anxiety as employees are let go, the giving is not the same across the board.

"It has decreased," Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits president Marnie Taylor said. "I don't have any percentages because everybody's been treated differently."

Even with a decrease, the dream of Aubrey McClendon is still providing for those in need.

"[Chesapeake] is continuing to plan on running an employee campaign like they always have," said Nina Daylor, executive VP for United Way of Central Oklahoma.

Taylor says the company is pushing the limit as far as they can on how much it can give under CEO Doug Lawler's new structure. At the same time, donation cuts have been made so no one charity is left in dire straits.

OCU Business School Dean Steve Agee says, over time, other companies in the metro and state will pick up the slack.

"You're not going to see this be a long-term, negative impact on the city or the state," Agee said.

As for the hundreds of employees who are expected to be shown the door, Taylor understands giving might not be a top priority, at least for now.

"I really think that the seed that Chesapeake planted in each of those people will come to blossom at another place or another time," Taylor said.

According to Lawler, the current restructuring plan in terms of layoffs will be complete before Nov. 1, 2013.

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