Curated content that shares the good stuff: action, inspiration and love

Reflections on great curated content that’s focused on the “good stuff” 

From Michael J. Tomlinson, CEO and President, BDI 

Read Time: 6 minutes 

In the online world we cohabitate, you’ve surely heard the phrase “curated content.”  The idea here is that someone gathers information deemed particularly relevant on a topic or area of interest and seeks to add value to readers by bringing forth those ideas or works. 

In other words, they “Like” and “Share.”  

And here’s what I’ve found: what’s good is great, but there’s much more out there that misses the mark.  

That’s why I have such a love-hate relationship with curated content. There’s an inherent challenge in navigating the volume of messaging that inundates us at every turn. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar place as me, striving to be more discerning about exchanging and investing our most precious assets – our time and attention – while looking to be more selective on which voices we’re letting in on a daily basis. And more aware of the content that we curate for others simply by liking and sharing. 

“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”  James 3:5 (NIV)

Sharing thoughts and words are incredibly powerful. They’re often the fuel for our focus and game changers of destiny. We should be intentional and generous in sharing the “good stuff” with one another. In that spirit, when I share, I do so particularly because it’s either actionable, inspirational, or shares love. In our quest to raise more support for nonprofits, great curated content should be fuel for our engines as we serve.

So let me share something I came across that has action, inspiration, and love. I started following Marc “Rooting for You” Cendella, Founder and CEO of, an online job search firm providing counsel and services to executive talent, shortly after he launched their platform nearly 20 years ago.  

I find his commitment to connecting opportunity with capacity and his belief in the interminable human spirit very inspiring.  He’s an evangelist for the incredible opportunities uniquely present in our country when people are willing to work hard(er), learn (more), hustle (always), and dare to risk investing in themselves and others. 

Marc Cenedella, founder and CEO of and the newsletter “American Ambition” on Substack. 

Recently, Marc curated a powerful tweet that’s a perfect follow-up to my feature last month, where I make the case for bullishly contrarian expectations in 2022, bucking the avalanche of predictions that philanthropy in America is nearing a systemic collapse. 

This Valentine’s Day month, how awesome is it to be reminded by a new American how incredibly BLESSED and FORTUNATE we are to be doing business and to be in ministry here – despite our nation’s shortcomings and challenges?!  

I hope you’ll check it out, and that it will be a “good and timely word” that brings even greater confidence as we battle in our cause. Perhaps you may even share it as the highest and best type of curated content… that which adds meaning and inspiration to your faith, your heart and your work with the marginalized and hurting. 

Like Marc, I, too, am rooting for you.


10 things I love about America

I follow the CEO of Replit on Twitter.  Replit is a “collaborative browser-based IDE”, which sounds complicated, but basically just makes it much, much easier for software engineers to create code together, and for new software engineers to learn how to code.His name is Amjad Masad and last Tuesday he shared a picture of his US citizenship ceremony and posted a terrific tweet on “10 things I love about this country.”  I can’t imagine a better way to start the year than by reflecting on our blessings here in America. So please enjoy Amjad’s tweet and then share the top thing you love about America in the comments:
1. Work Ethic
First thing I noticed was that everyone regardless of occupation took pride in doing a bang-up job, even when no one looked. I asked people: “why do you pour everything into a job even when it is seemingly thankless?” And it was like asking fish “what is water?”

2. Lack of corruption
In the 10 years in the US, I’ve never been asked for a bribe, and that’s surprising. When you know that you predictably get to keep a sizeable portion of the value you create and that no one will arbitrarily stop you, it makes it easier to be ambitious.

3. Win-win mindset
People don’t try to screw you on deals, they play the long game, and align incentives in such a way that everyone wins. This is especially apparent in Silicon Valley where you can’t underestimate anyone because one day you might be working for them.

4. Rewarding talent
From sports to engineering, America is obsessed with properly rewarding talent. If you’re good, you’ll get recognized. The market for talent is dynamic — if you don’t feel valued today, you can find a better place tomorrow.

5. Open to weirdos
Because you never know where the next tech, sports, or arts innovation will come from, America had to be open to weirdness. Weirdos thrive without being crushed. We employ people with the most interesting backgrounds — dropouts to artists — they’re awesome!

6. Forgiveness
Weird and innovative people have to put themselves out there, and as part of that, they’re going to make mistakes in public. The culture here values authenticity, and if you’re authentic and open about your failures, you’ll get a second and a third chance.

7. Basic infrastructure
Americans take care of their public spaces. Parks are clean, subways and buses run on time, and utilities & services just work. Because life can be livable for a time without income, it was possible for us to quit our jobs and bootstrap our business.

8. Optimism
When you step foot in the US there is a palpable sense of optimism. People believe that tomorrow will be better than today. They don’t know where progress will come from, but that’s why they’re open to differences. When we started up even unbelievers encouraged us.

9. Freedom
Clearly a cliche, but it’s totally true. None of the above works if you’re not free to explore & tinker, to build companies, and to move freely. I still find it amazing that if I respect the law and others, I can do whatever I want without being compelled/restricted.

10. Access to capital
It’s a lot harder to innovate & try to change the world without capital. If you have a good idea & track record, then someone will be willing to bet on you. The respect for entrepreneurship in this country is inspiring. And it makes the whole thing tick. Because of the character limit, I couldn’t caveat the generalities that I made. It’s hard to talk about an entire nation without making those. And my experience can be very different from yours. Also, we can do a lot better, and make sure everyone has equal access to opportunity.

Finally, many of the things that I talked about are under threat, largely from people who don’t know how special they have it. America is worth protecting and realizing that progress can be made without destroying the things that made it special. Let’s grow!

MarcFollow me on Twitter: @cenedella


“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!” 
Proverbs 15:25 (NIV)

Want more nonprofit inspiration from BDI’s CEO? Check out MT’s recent article, “Looking Forward in Philanthropy: A SWOT Provides Clues for What to Expect in 2022” >>

  • Michael Tomlinson, BDI CEO and President

    Michael J. Tomlinson, CEO and President

    Michael J. Tomlinson, better known as “MT,” is the CEO and President of BDI. With more than 25 years of executive leadership in business development and media, MT’s expertise involves leading organizations like Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk and Dunham+Company in the ideation and execution of successful integrated marketing, broadcast and digital media, and fundraising strategies that fuel growth.

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