Frequently Asked Questions

There would be three kinds of users on the Lighthouse Journalism platform. You are either a Proposer, Funder or a Journalist. Here are the detailed FAQs for the three sets of Users.

FAQs for funder

1. I got a request from someone asking to fund a project in Lighthouse, should I trust this project and is this reliable?

Lighthouse journalism project is run by Indian Express Online, and the themes and content is curated by a set of editors and an editorial board. However, do check on the theme and if it is of interest, you can fund the same. The funding for the project happens on the Lighthouse Journalism platform. Initiators for the project are not allowed to raise funds in any other manner.

2. Will my money be refunded if the project is not approved?

Yes. your money will be refunded if the project is not able to raise the required funds. However, you can only fund a project which is already approved. You cannot fund a project which is not approved by the editorial board.

3. What is the minimum amount I can fund a project for? Is there any maximum limit?

The minimum amount of fund for a project is to the tune of Rs 100. There is no maximum limit. However, the maximum amount would be the total amount that is assigned to be raised for the project.

4. Can I fund multiple projects?

Yes. you can fund as many projects as you wish.

5. Can I shift my money to different projects if I am not keen on a particular project?

No. money paid to a certain project will remain with that project. You cannot shift funds between projects.

6. I had paid Rs 100 for a project. When will it be approved and when will it get published. What is the process?

The fact that you paid Rs 100 for a project means that it is already approved. If it raises the full amount as announced in the project details, it will go to a journalist who will then report on the issue that you had funded.

7. I have funded a project and I have some additional information on the project which can be of use, whom can I contact?

You can contact the coordinator of the project.

8. Can I connect with the originator of the cause/project?

NO. you cannot connect to the originator of the project on the platform.

9. Can I connect with the journalist doing the project?

No. You cannot connect with the journalist doing the project on this platform.

10. I have some suggestions for a good journalist. Can I recommend some names?

You are free to recommend names and write to, but the final decision will be taken up by the editorial team.

11. Will the whole money collected for the project be used for the same or does the Lighthouse Journalism platform collect some fee?

Lighthouse platform collects a fee of 30%, but in some special cases it can either reduce the fee or waive it off altogether. The decision rests with the editorial board.

12. I am a Non Resident Indian/Person Of Indian origin. Can I fund a project?

No. Only Indian residents are eligible to fund a project.

13. Can I get in touch with all those who funded the project? Will you give me the details?

No. Details of other funders will not be provided on the platform.

14. We are a public limited company and we are interested in a theme. Can we fund a cause? Can we suggest causes?

Yes. You can fund a project or cause. However no initiator or funder will have any role in the selection of the journalist.

15. My payment has some tech issues. Whom should I contact?

You should contact

16. I am not happy with the outcome of the project ( The article or video). Whom should I talk to?

You can contact However, the final decision on the quality of the article is based on inputs from the editorial board.

17. I don't want my name to be associated with a project, though I have funded the project. Can you remove my name or hide my name?

Do write to

18. I am a subject matter expert in the cause/project that has been raised. The cause/project is good but I can add a lot more value. Can you change the proposal with my inputs?

Do write to

FAQs for proposer

1. Lighthouse Journalism platform says that I need to pay a token amount to raise a cause/project. Will it be given back to me if the project is not approved?

Yes. The initial amount of Rs 100 will be returned even if the project is not approved.

2. Can I put more money on the project/cause or should I restrict myself to the token amount and ask others to put in the money?

You can put as much money as you want on the project after it is approved by the editorial board. However, it cannot exceed the maximum amount as suggested by the editorial board. You can also share the project with others and ask them to fund the same.

3. Can I raise or initiate as many causes/projects as I wish?

Yes you can. However, we suggest that you focus on one or two projects to see it through. Remember that projects will see the light of the day only when sufficient funds are raised.

4. I am also a journalist. Can I bid for the same project/cause that I raise?

Yes you can. However, you need to register as a journalist separately on the platform.

5. I raised a cause/project. I also donated Rs 1000 for the project. If the project is not approved will I get the Rs 1000 back?

Yes, all your money will be returned to you.

6. I paid a token amount of Rs 100 for the project I raised. When will my project/cause be approved?

The project that you raised will be sent to the editorial board for their approval. Only if they approve the project will it be showcased on the site, and only if it raises the amount of money as mentioned by the editorial board will the project be sent to a journalist.

7. How do I raise money for the cause / project that I have proposed?

You could share the project with friends and the community interested in such a theme and encourage them to fund the project.

8. I have proposed a project and paid Rs 100 as a token fee. How long should I wait for my project/cause to be approved?

The project needs to be approved by the editorial board. It would take seven working days for a decision on the project.

9. My cause/project has been approved but I received a mail stating that the project will take off only after Rs 10,000 has been raised. What happens if I am not able to raise the required amount?

You need to raise the required amount for the project to take off. Otherwise the project would not take off. However, even if the project does not take off all the money would be returned.

10. I have raised almost 90 per cent of the required amount. Will my project take off?

The editorial board will take a call on the project if you have raised 90% of the required amount.

11. I know a journalist who is good enough to do the project. Can I encourage him to bid for the project?

You can encourage him to bid for the project. However, it is the editorial board which will select the journalist. You have no choice whatsoever in the selection of the journalist.

12. Will the story be published in Indian express print edition or the web edition?

There is no guarantee whatsoever that the article will be published either in the print edition of Indian express or the digital version,

13. What happens to my project if no journalists are willing to write about the cause/project?

We assume that there would be a sufficient number of journalists willing to take up interesting projects.

14. I see that the project/cause that I have raised is not finding enough traction. Can I rewrite the project and make it more attractive for funders and journalists?

No. you cannot rewrite a project that is already live on the site. However, You can submit another project.

15. I see that the journalist you selected to write about the cause/project is either not sympathetic to the cause or is not competent enough. I want him to be changed.

The final call on the selection of the journalist will be done by the editorial team. The initiator of the project has no role in the selection of the journalist.

16. I have additional info on the cause/project which I can share with the journalist. How do I reach out to him/her?

You can reach out to the project coordinator. His mail id is …..

17. Can I recommend the names of journalists who can write about this cause/project?

Yes. you can recommend some names, but the final decision will be taken by the editorial board

18. Is there a fee that the Lighthouse Journalism platform charges? If so, how much is it?

Yes. Lighthouse Journalism platform charges 30 per cent of the total amount raised as the platform fee.

19. The final report that has come out is good. Can I republish it in my blog, or give it to other news sites for republication?

No. Lighthouse Journalism owns the copyright to the story/report. You do not have rights to republish it in any format.

20. We are a non profit organisation . can we initiate a cause or project. Or is it only available as individuals?

Yes you can. Institutions including non profits are eligible to raise projects or causes.

21. We are a non profit organisation working on the theme that we raised as a project/cause. Will your journalist interview us and mention our work in the article?

It depends on the journalist. If he finds that your work is significant and worth a mention, he would interview you. However, there is no assurance whatsoever that your interview or your work would be mentioned.

22. We are not happy with the article that got published. Will you return our money?

No. the decision of the editorial board to accept the report/story of the journalist is final.

23. I am the initiator of a project/cause. I am no longer interested in the project. Can I exit the project? Will the project be shelved if I exit the project?

No. Once you initiated the project, and funding has been provided for the same, and after a journalist takes up the project, you cannot exit the same.

24. I am a non resident Indian/person of indian origin. Can I initiate a project?

No. Only Indian citizens can initiate a project.

25. We are a public limited company and we are interested in a theme. Can we initiate a cause?

Yes. you can. Institutional members including companies can initiate a project.

26. Can I get in touch with all those who funded the project. Will you give me the details?

No. details of those who funded the project will not be shared with anyone.

27. I have raised around 60 per cent for the project and time is running out. Will you be extending the time for the project to raise money?

The editorial board will take a call on the extension of time provided they think that the project is likely to raise the required funds.

FAQs for journalist

1. Can I apply for reporting on as many causes as I wish?

Yes. you can. But ideally you should apply for two or three projects and wait for the outcome. It is better to start and build your credibility on the platform by publishing a few pieces.

2. How will I be paid?

We will be doing an electronic transfer of the funds after the completion of the project. We shall be getting your bank account details and the money would be transferred to the account.

3. When will I be paid?

You will be paid after the end of the project. Ie; after you finish writing your story/report and as it is approved for publication by the editorial board.

4. Will I get the full amount that is mentioned in the project?

There would be a platform fee to the tune of 30% of the project cost. However, in some special cases or for some special themes, the platform fee might be waived and we will be informing you of the same.

5. I opted for reporting on a cause but that cause has not yet raised its full amount of money. Should I wait?

You should wait. The cause/project should raise its full amount which it is supposed to raise for the project to be given to a journalist.

6. Can I also be a user and raise a cause or project and also be a journalist and report on the same?

Yes. you can. However, you need to register separately as a user/project initiator and as a journalist.

7. I am a freelance journalist with no experience in working in mainstream news organisations. Is it ok?

No issues. You can register on the platform.

8. I applied for reporting on a cause, but got rejected by the editorial board. Any reason?

The decision of the editorial board is final. The board would communicate the reasons for the rejection.

9. I want more details on the cause /project to give an estimate. Can I get in contact with the project / cause initiator?

If you are selected for the project, you can write to the programme coordinator and he will provide you the details as requested by you.

10. I find that the project/cause is more complicated than I expected. I want to exit the project. Will I be reimbursed for the money spent?

No. If you have been selected for the project and if you want to exit the same midway, no costs would be reimbursed.

11. Can I get an advance for taking up the project?

No advance would be provided for taking up the project.

12. We are a group of journalists, working as a company/collective. Can we bid for the projects?

You can bid in the name of one of the persons in the group.

13. Will my article be showcased on Indian Express print edition or on

There is no guarantee that your article will be published in Indian express print edition or showcased in the web edition; It will be published in the platform,

14. It looks like it will take a longer time than I expected. Can we push back the deadlines?

Yes. if it is absolutely necessary. You can

15. We have shot some video for the story. Should we edit it or will you be doing the editing?

The editing of the video would be done at your end.

16. Can I republish the story in my blog or any other news site, or platform?

No. The story which is published on Lighthouse Journalism should not be published anywhere else, including your own blog. The copyright for the same rests with Lighthouse Journalism.

17. Why is it that I see some causes on the site, but I am unable to bid for the same?

You can apply for the project/cause only after a certain threshold of funds are raised for the project by the project initiators and the funders.

18. I am not an Indian express employee now. I worked there earlier. Can I bid for a cause or a project?

Yes. you can.

19. Can I write or bid for a project in a pseudonym?

No. you can only bid or apply for a project in your real name.

20. There are some issues in my profile page how do i get it corrected?

You can correct the same yourself. If you face any tech issues, pls write to

21. I find that a story has some errors, where Can i complain?

You can write to the editorial coordinator at

22. I bid for a cause/project, but doing a detailed study I find it is going to cost more. Can I change my cost estimates.?

The decision on the approximate cost has been made by the editorial board and it is final. However, you could write to the coordinator of the programme on your costing issues.

23. I find that you have published the story with some editing. I wanted the story be published in full?

The reports/stories would be edited by our editorial team and their decision is final.