About the Film

What You Do Matters re-imagines philanthropy. Spotlighting the generous spirit, passion and commitment of everyday Chicagoans, this one-hour documentary pivots from the widely held view that philanthropy is the grand generosity of a few to a new mindset–that philanthropy is the collective impact of the many.

Featuring the stories of those who make a difference in their communities, the program reveals how average citizens act, engage, and experience first-hand how giving–and receiving–matter. Watch it now


About the Filmmakers

Chicago-based Kurtis Productions was founded 30 years ago by Bill Kurtis, one of the country’s most respected, award-winning journalists. As a producer of thousands of hours of riveting, dramatic and entertaining content for major American networks like CNBC, A&E and Discovery, Kurtis specializes in long and short form video and television production. Informed by its founder’s news background, the company’s signature style delivers compelling content through a highly visual, storytelling approach.

The organization is also dedicated to serving the video and event needs of Chicago’s nonprofits, such as the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Harris Theater, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, the Museum of Science and Industry and The Chicago Community Trust.

Kurtis Productions is the proud recipient of countless honors, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, the Chris Award, a national Emmy and many regional Emmys.

Bill Kurtis

An acclaimed television documentary host, producer and news anchor, Bill served in several roles at CBS including as longtime anchor for WBBM-TV Chicago television news and co-anchor of CBS Morning News. He is the author of The Death Penalty: Crisis in American Justice. Currently, Bill hosts Through the Decades on the Decade Channel and co-hosts the weekly news quiz Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! on NPR radio. The recipient of numerous humanitarian, journalism and broadcasting awards, Bill is a board director of several distinguished organizations including The Nature Conservancy of Illinois, Chicago Botanic Garden and the Field Museum of Natural History.

Donna LaPietra

As co-founder and vice president of Kurtis Productions, Donna’s unwavering commitment to high quality educational and information programming is renowned, as evidenced by several Emmys and numerous citations for documentaries she has produced. Over her 35-year career in television, Donna served as executive producer of WBBM-TVs Channel 2 News and Siskel & Ebert, the iconic movie review program. Her commitment to Chicago runs deep. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Millennium Park Foundation, Donna sits on several boards including Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago Public Library Foundation, Shedd Aquarium, Joffrey Ballet, After School Matters and Green City Market.

Louanne Fries

A five-time Emmy Award winning executive producer, Louanne’s distinguished career includes working in television newsrooms across the Midwest, at the city of Chicago’s local cable network, as an executive at WYCC PBS Chicago and running her own production company for over 12 years. Today, Louanne works closely with Kurtis Productions to provide services to a wide range of nonprofit organizations.