Every budget seems to grow a miscellaneous category like a zit needing to be popped. For grant writers: pop this category (yeah I know this is corny).
A miscellaneous category grows out of laziness of the creator or the years have not been good to the list (people created categories as the need arose). Miscellaneous categories can also grow to hide what the nonprofit is spending money on. None of these are a reason for a growing miscellaneous category.
If this category is large enough to be noticed, it gets noticed. People wonder what is in it and questions are asked. When I receive a nonprofit’s budget, I go to the miscellaneous category first.
Many nonprofits do not have useful categories to stuff their budget numbers in; causing a long list of categories ending with a bigger miscellaneous. My first challenge is changing a nonprofit’s budget categories, at least for the current year. If they let me, I redesign the budget like rewriting a short story.
I take the budget details and create a new categorization that allows for more summarization while making sure I keep the identity of the money received and spent. This is the important part: Keep Everything True.
When done, I have popped the miscellaneous category (I had to end with a corny comment for no real reason).
P.S. If anyone wants more details on how to do this, let me know by comments or email.