This article is from the Rialto FAQ, by Richard "Pug" Bainter email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
(The following text was written by Ragnar the Bold, known in modern
life as Keith Cartmell, a former member of the Board of Directors.)
What sort of a letter is most likely to influence the Board on a
decision? Some of this will be plainly obvious, but you should see
some of the letters the Board has received. Hope this clears up
Address it to:
Board of Directors
P.O. Box 360789
Milpitas, CA. 95036-0789
Do not send copies to individual directors, or the Society Seneschal,
since copies will be made and sent out in the Board packets.
Keep your letter to one topic. If you wish to address several
different topics, send several letters in the same envelope. The
secretary will find it easier to correctly handle your letter if you
clearly state the topic at the beginning. Letters that address an
agenda item will be numbered with it. If your letter comments on
several agenda items, it becomes a nightmare to correctly file, and
find again when wanted. If it does not comment on any established
agenda item, it will be placed into VII, Correspondence. It will be
assigned to a director for a response. Every letter should get a
response. Your letters are carefully read to see if a new agenda item
must be created. This is done at the Committee of the Whole meeting,
and any letters on the same topic will be moved to the new agenda
The Board packets add up to a pile of paper that is never less than
about 3" thick. To make the best impression your letter should be
clear, and to the point. The letter is photocopied, and the original
filed, so getting everything on one side of an 8.5 x 11 page helps.
Multiple pages should be clearly labeled 1 of x, 2 of x, ect, and
don't staple. The main consideration in print medium is easy to read.
Dark typewritten print is great. A 9 pin printer in draft mode badly
needs a fresh ribbon. Handwritten; if you must, use dark ink, double
space, and be as neat as possible. For most people (especially me)
hand printing is neater than handwriting. It must be signed, and if
your name is printed underneath it will be spelled that way in the
minutes. The Board will not accept anonymous correspondence.
Timing. Sooner is better. Sending a letter about 2 to 6 weeks *after*
the latest meeting is about ideal, or about 2 months *prior* to the
next. The packets are smaller and the directors are not trying to cope
with all the last minute essentials.
If your letter is a request for the Board to act as the final step in
the channels for complaint and appeal, please include a summary of all
the attempts to resolve the situation. Be meticulous about dates,
actions, and who you send copies to. Remember that Board action will
affect the entire SCA, not just your situation.