Recently the Eta Kappa Nu Association (the electrical & computer engineering honor society) and the IEEE signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which proposes to merge these two organizations. One of the key reasons for the need for this merger is the financial condition of HKN. They have indicated that ongoing operating expenses are not being met by the funds they are receiving.
Merging with IEEE - or more specifically becoming an organizational unit of IEEE - will allow for HKN to continue on, and perhaps to do some additional things that their current financial situation did not allow them to do.
As a member of HKN, and former student member of IEEE, I can see the benefit of merging these organizations. It should have positive impacts on both organizations.