For several years IEEE Region 6 has been losing members. We want to find out why, and when possible, provide ways that non-renewing members can renew their membership. We are looking for IEEE volunteers who would call up to 10 people in their section to find out why they didn’t renew, what they think of the direction and activities of the IEEE, see what their interests are and if they are interested, offer them options for rejoining the IEEE. We would also want these volunteers to provide feedback on their discussions with people on their call list through an on-line form. Volunteers can request a new list to call when they complete a list. As an incentive for these volunteers we are offering IEEE and IEEE Region 6 branded products for these micro-volunteers who achieve certain levels of renewals from the list of the folks that they call.
If you are interested in volunteering for this important work, just fill out this form and click submit:
Rewards for participants:
- five (5) confirmed renewals – $10 Starbucks gift card
- ten (10) confirmed renewals – choice of select IEEE-USA branded merchandise
- fifteen (15) confirmed renewals – IEEE Region 6 Aloha shirt.
The Value of Time – Tom Coughlin, IEEE Region 6 Director
Time is the great motivator of action, but time can be the enemy of success. Busy technical professionals are both inspired and constrained by time. We may want to help each other and our profession, but there is so little time to do so. On the other hand we only have so many hours in our lives to make a difference, there is no time to waste.
IEEE leaders need to help our fellow IEEE members achieve a balance of their time spent as employees, entrepreneurs, consultants, fathers or mothers, members of their communities; as well as IEEE volunteers. We can do this by using modern program management techniques and technologies to create and manage volunteer time, as well as creating useful volunteer tasks that allow people to accomplish good things with small investments of time and energy.
Being a section or chapter officer, being a member of a society governing body or serving on various IEEE committees can be very rewarding, but often requires a significant investment of time and may not be right for all IEEE volunteers. Smaller tasks carried out in short bursts of time could help create more IEEE members volunteers. A volunteer who feels energized and rewarded by these smaller tasks could later feel more comfortable with getting further involved in IEEE volunteer activities.
There is a concept, called micro-volunteering, that has been developed to create small manageable volunteer tasks for non-profits. Volunteers can choose these tasks that will help the non-profit, and in doing so contribute to the progress of the non-profit. IEEE Region 6 wants to leverage the concept of micro-volunteering to accomplish our goals. We can do many things with micro-volunteering but we want to start off by trying to reverse the loss of members year-by-year in IEEE Region 6.
Below is a figure showing the number of higher-grade IEEE members in Region 6 year-by-year in the 21st century.
Our peak higher-grade membership was in 2002 and we have been declining year over year since then. The table following this figure breakdown the loss of members in December 2014 compared to December 2013.
As can be seen from this table the biggest membership losses (in real numbers) are our regular members and graduate student members. We want to reverse the IEEE membership loss in 2015 and we feel that these two categories of non-renewing members should be the target.
We are creating a micro-volunteer program to get volunteers from IEEE sections to call their fellow section members who have not renewed their membership. These volunteers will sign up as a micro-volunteer and be given a list of 10 non-renewing IEEE former members in their section (or branch for student branches) to call and/or email to find out why they didn’t renew, find out what their impressions of the IEEE are and get their input on what we can do better. If the non-renewing member is interested in renewing their membership they will offer them appropriate options for renewing.
The volunteer will be able to keep track of their discussion with the non-renewing member via a Google document that will be shared with the IEEE membership development community who can follow up if needed—e.g. to offer easy membership renewal options. Volunteer callers can ask for new call lists each time they finish calling (and-or emailing) their prior list and there are incentives for the volunteers who can achieve various levels of membership renewals.
With the deactivation of non-renewing IEEE members completed in late February 2015, the lists of non-renewing members is very fresh. Now is the time to try and bring some of these former members back to the IEEE. Remember, the more members, the greater the pool of IEEE volunteers and thus the more IEEE volunteers to do good work. Will you donate some time to call 10 of these non-renewing members to find out what would get them motivated to renew and what they think the IEEE should be doing?
This effort will be a test of the value of micro-volunteering for IEEE members and we want this effort to be a success. There are a lot of other activities that we can break down into small tasks and reach out to the IEEE volunteer community to make them happen. Let’s see if we can use this approach to reverse the 12-year trend of declining IEEE Region 6 membership. We need these people back and I think we can do it!