The paper discusses the factors affecting the activities of civil society institutions such as think tanks. Ways in which they can impact on political decision making process. Attention is paid to "window of opportunity" and the available communication channels to these organizations.
The article is devoted to the history of the creation of the Voluntary Fleet Society in 1878-1879. The idea of the Voluntary Fleet and its implementation are considered from the point of view of studying the place of social organization in the modernizing space of the Russian Empire. The subjects of the role of the Imperial Society for the promotion of Russian commercial shipping in the organization of fund-raising for the purchase of ships are discussed, as well as the process of public discussion of the Voluntary Fleet project.