There are many ways to evaluate your fundraising performance.  Response rate.  Average gift.  Cost per dollar raised.  Cost per donor.  Those are all important metrics to track.  But the one you should focus on more than any other is Long-Term Donor Value (LTDV).

LTDV takes into account the cost of acquisition and cultivation, and the donor’s giving over time (second gift conversion, long-term retention, etc.).  It tells you how healthy (or unhealthy) your program is, and what you can afford to invest in future donor acquisition.

Use LTDV as your benchmark since it is a more comprehensive metric.