IEEE Member Renewal Rates


This page will discuss how increasing IEEE dues have lowered the renewal rates of IEEE members by member category.

Members who participate in IEEE activities such as attending Section meetings and Conferences, using educational services or volunteering at all levels of the IEEE organization tend to have very high rates of renewing their membership each year. 

Members who join IEEE, but, have zero or minimal participation level tend to have lower renewal rates.  These members view their membership differently.  The satisfaction of just being a member of a professional organization may lower the inclination of a member to renew, because the current dues level may be considered no longer discretionary.  The member starts thinking about how the higher cost of dues can be used for something more urgent or satisfying.  As long as yearly dues stay below the upper limit of a given member’s discretionary spending level, the member continues to feel that being a member of a professional organization is still worth the cost.

The table below shows the change in membership retention for the years 2018 and 2019 for all membership grades.  This is just snap shot of dropping member retention rates that started over 20 years ago.  As IEEE member dues increased, retention rates have fallen.

The 2019 overall average retention rate is is at an historic low.   In the past 20 years overall retention rates have been significantly higher when full member dues were very low.

It is important to note that the above Member rate has dropped by -2.8%.  This is significant, because Members represent over 58% of total membership and contribute the most to the total yearly membership revenue.  They also represent a majority of the new members recruited each year.

The growth in Life Senior Members is not surprising, since Senior members have the second highest retention rate of all.  Life and Honorary Members do not pay any member dues other than Society dues.

As you can see, all Life, Fellow and Honorary members have very high retention (renewal) rates due to their long continued membership in IEEE.  This is not very surprising.

Senior members have a renewal rate of 95.2%.  This is because Senior members and Senior Life members are very active volunteers within IEEE.  Active member engagement  highly correlates with high renewal rates.

While the Member grade represented 56.8% of all membership, their retention rates are 73.8%.  This means 1 out of 4 Members quit IEEE in 2019.

Overall membership had only 68.7% retention, which meant that 1 out of 3 of all members quit IEEE in 2019. 

It appears that rising membership dues have been eroding member retention rates over 20 years.  A bold move to significantly lower annual dues for full dues paying members will meaningfully increase overall retention rates to levels seen only before 2005.

Proposals for increasing overall member retention rates and the recruitment of new members are presented on the Proposed Dues Solutions page.