NESFA Lunar Realty Trust #1

When NESFA decided to purchase a clubhouse (see Saga of the NESFA Clubhouse), it felt that it had enough income to pay for it, but not enough cash — it needed a mortgage. But banks are not used to loaning money to fannish clubs (it probably could have been done, but it would have been very hard). Instead, NESFA decided to borrow money from its members and, to keep it formal and above-board, set up the NESFA Lunar Realty Trust #1 (as in Encyclopedia Galactica Foundation #1).

The NLRT was a trust organized under Massachusetts law (and largely set up by Don Eastlake) which collected around $60,000 towards the purchase price. The NLRT sold bonds worth $100 each and paid interest based on the prime rate. Most of the money was raised locally, but S.C.I.F.I., the organization which had just run the huge and financially quite successful LAcon II, purchased $20,000 worth of NLRT bonds. (It's noteworthy that they paid for it with 100 checks for $137 — it's a long story — plus one more check for $6300.) The NLRT bonds were paid off completely over the next two and a half years.