Two appeals came in the mail today

First, let me remind non-Esperantists that today, December 15, is Zamenhof Day, or the birthday of L. L. Zamenhof, the inventor of “the International Language.”

In the mail, right on time, I got a renewal appeal from Esperanto-USA, the national Esperantist membership organization. That would be enough to encourage me to renew, but in the enclosed literature the leadership made its case in firm numbers. Number of inquiries answered. Number of international transactions brokered. Numbers of publications and other items sold. Numbers of website visitors. Numbers of scholarship students and reminder of the national convention. And I should re-up (it follows) because I get the magazine, the membership list and email list service. Other print pieces invite members to avail themselves of the services the organization provides.

This is all rather old-fashioned in the world of organizations, but Esperantists are a small, somewhat eccentric krewe, and the form of it makes sense. It states its case and gives me a way to act easily upon it. Not flashy, no over-engineered. And it doesn’t pester me with cloying mailings about how much more important they are than others.

I wish more organizations, particularly national membership groups, would do as much.

By contrast, I got a pretty packet asking for extra support from a non-profit religious publisher — before I have even gotten the first issue of the magazine it publishes. Somewhat unwise, I think.

?ojan Zamenhoftagon!

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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