It is a pernicious system of rent extraction, the domain registration system. I feel like after 16.5 years you should be entitled to true ownership, not subject to the whims of the entities that were privy to the original land grab.
Our non-profit has an org domain name, so we’ll have to evaluate the options. As you say, we have to decide whether we can let it go, even if we wanted to, as someone else might pick it up and leech off our reputation.