Learning & Development Lounge – Q&A with Nancy Bacon

by Anna Wilcox, WNN Director of Learning & Development

This guest blog is part of a series created for NCHT by Anna Wilcox, Director of Learning and Development for Wyoming Nonprofit Network. The “Learning and Development Lounge” is a space to get to know individuals from an array of industries central to nonprofit work, all in a casual and fun format. Keep an eye on our website and our newsletter for each installment of the series.

Once again, we are hanging in our virtual Learning & Development Lounge with a very special guest and fellow nonprofit enthusiast, consultant, blogger, and trainer/facilitator extraordinaire.  I was lucky enough to catch Nancy Bacon toward the end of a Friday afternoon procrastination bubble, looking for an excuse to put those pending tasks off until Monday morning.

Me: First off Nancy, you give off serious Wonder Woman vibes…I’m so happy to know that even Wonder Woman procrastinates!

Nancy:  I think that you would find out if you wrapped Wonder Woman’s golden lasso of truth around her that even she has times when she puts off what needs to be done.  And I’m flattered to be thought of as Wonder Woman, being a total Lynda Carter Wonder Woman fan.

Me: We are so excited to have you present “Let’s talk money: Nonprofit Finance Basics” to the nonprofit masses in just under a month.  So, I guess the first thing I want to know is, why nonprofit finance?

Nancy: Why not nonprofit finance? Finance is the management of money. Money is what we need to run our programs, pay our people, and achieve our mission. If you think about all the issues a nonprofit is dealing with, many of them boil down to the need for money to make things happen. So, let’s bring the conversation all the way back to our understanding of money and the systems our nonprofits use to know what we have and how we are spending it. When a nonprofit board or staff member feels confident with their understanding of money, they are ready to go out and raise what they need. They can make sure that hard-earned money doesn’t go out the back door or get mis-accounted for. They can make important decisions on behalf of their mission and organization. Understanding money is a superpower we can all have with a little learning. 

Me: What is the number one reason someone should attend your workshop?

Nancy: We make learning about money fun. I know some people have a lot of anxiety talking about money. Money brings up fear, shame, or worry. We connect the money story of an organization with our own personal money story, and that can be hard for some people. This workshop is a bit of a lovefest as we talk through what people need to know in an atmosphere of love, support, and laughter. And I love when there are finance experts in the room because they get to explore new ways to share their knowledge with others. 

Me: If you had to describe your training style, what would it be?

Nancy: My training style…. well, if this were a training class, I would start talking about how learning styles have been disproven, and that the secret to learning lies in a smart integration of all the “styles” — visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc. So, my training style integrates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic experiences to produce learning experiences that are engaging, fun, and interactive with each other. 

Me: I believe if there is anyone who could make learning about numbers fun it would be you!  Speaking of learning, I’m obsessed.  I’m guessing you are the same. So, tell me, what are you learning these days?

Nancy: Professionally I am trying to learn more about AI. I attended a webinar recently, and I left there feeling more confused than I started. I tried some of the suggested image-generating websites, and I got nothing. The cat playing the piano that I asked for didn’t happen. It was a good reminder of what it is like to be a novice at something that is overwhelming and outside my general interests. Kind of like finance for some people.

Personally, I am going to learn how to silkscreen this summer. You don’t need to remind me that it is mid-August. I have prepared the silkscreen for my inaugural swipe. I have two books about how to do this checked out of the library, and I’ll have something silkscreened before I leave for Wyoming.

Me: Rumor has it you are a Wyoming first-timer. What excites you the most about your visit?

Nancy: Technically this is my second trip to Wyoming. I stayed in the flour mill hotel (Mill Inn) in Sheridan while driving my daughter to college in Minnesota (#bucketlist). But this is my first trip to Wyoming where I’m actually going to pause and connect with people. That’s what I’m most excited about– meeting people! There’s nothing better than spending a day with nonprofit people. I can’t wait! 

Me: I am excited to introduce you to all the people!  Ok, what else do we need to know about you to really know Nancy?

Nancy: I am really busy this time of year pickling and jamming, and I’m eager to hear what people are pickling and jamming in Wyoming. Otherwise, I want the wonderful nonprofit people of Wyoming to know that I think about nonprofit success all day, and I come to these trainings with a toolkit of resources in mind to share. I’m obsessed with nonprofit training that is actionable, and I stay with people until they get what they need. 

Me: Last…and always my favorite…Speed Round!

Me: Pepsi v Coke

Nancy: Coke, particularly on a hot day 

Me: Mountains v Beach

Nancy: Beach. I grew up on Cape Cod and feel at home on any beach, any time.  

Me: Sweet v Salty

Nancy: Sweet, sadly. I envy salty people. 

Me: Books- Print v Digital

Nancy: Print. Is there a question?  

Me: News- Print v Digital

Nancy: Print. I guess there is a question.  

Learn more about Nancy’s upcoming workshop in her guest blog, “Nonprofit finance: No need to hide under the table anymore,” and click here to register.