Whether it's annual or every 3-5 years, a core nonprofit board task is to review organizational mission AND values. A review like this is frequently conducted during a strategic planning period but when outside forces (governance outside the boardroom) call for action, a board may want to conduct such a review outside of planning.
Why do I speak of a nonprofit board's review of mission and values? I've just completed reading a Wall Street Journal article focused on California State Legislature action to extend the statute of limitations on child sex abuse torts. The result of such legislation: expose nonprofits to unlimited litigation. The author states that such legislation essentially targets the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts.
I for one am not against such legislation. My thinking: if institutions are still standing after such heinous acts, they perhaps have not been held accountable enough. But let's put this opinion aside for the moment and focus on what I believe to be the root cause of the problem for these two institutions and any others with histories of having done harm.
From where I stand, nonprofits, groups that exist to serve the best interest of the public, should be held to a standard of doing no harm. This is a difficult standard to regulate and litigation may be a necessary tool for achieving this principle. To incorporate this concept, it must first be subscribed to by each nonprofit's board. I would offer then, that one essential core value of every nonprofit (and its employees) should indeed be "we will do no harm". But each board must subscribe to such a statement along with other core values. I believe then that this is a task to be taken up for review every year and for possible adjustment during every strategic planning period.
Values matter and when they are not upheld, legislatures, regulators and litigators if not the public as a whole, have to step in.