Serving Immigrants and Refugees since 1921

Nationalities Service Center (NSC) is a non-profit organization that provides social, educational and legal services to immigrants and refugees in the Greater Philadelphia area. Our strength lies in the diversity of our clients and services. Since NSC’s founding in 1921, our mission has been to help immigrants and refugees participate fully in American society.

Our Stories

NSC is Renovating – but We Need Your Help

Nationalities Service Center is excited to share that our headquarters at 1216 Arch Street will be getting a “facelift”! Each year, NSC serves more than 5,000 immigrants and refugees, and we have been challenged to expand our space for services to match our immense growth in clients over the past few years. We want our clients to be welcomed into a headquarters that allows them to receive services and establish a new life in Philadelphia with dignity and safety. Our renovation project includes new and renovated classroom training space, a renovated welcome area, additional legal services space to ensure client confidentiality, and an overhaul of our public restrooms. We are already halfway to our funding goal, but we need to finish funding this project soon - we’re breaking ground this summer!

Wondering how you can help?

Visit our project page on Global Giving ( to donate now and help us make our goal! From that page, you can also share our project with your networks on Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t have time to visit our page, you can text GIVE 20155 to 80088 to donate $10 to the project now.

Want your donation to go a little further? Be sure to give on the July 15 Bonus Day! Global Giving will match donations made through at 30% (up to $1,000 per donor). There is $115,000 available in matching funds, as well as a $1,000 bonus award for the project with most individual donors and a $1,000 bonus award for the most money raised. Matching begins at 9:00:01 EDT and lasts until funds run out or 23:59:59 EDT.

We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you in our renovated space!


World Refugee Day 2015

wrd-12On Saturday June 13, Nationalities Service Center teamed up with regional partners in the Philadelphia Regional Refugee Provider Collaborative (PRRPC) to host Philadelphia’s World Refugee Day 2015. The event involved picnicking, arts and crafts, face painting, dancing, and four exciting soccer matches. “It was inspiring to see friendly competition a place for immigrant youth to belong,” shared Anh Hua, NSC’s Anti-Trafficking Project Coordinator.

wrd-13Over 160 guests joined us in recognizing the journeys made by refugees worldwide and celebrating Philadelphia’s newest residents as they begin rebuilding their lives in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection.


New Year, New Plan, New Look!

Nationalities Service Center is proud to announce some exciting changes with the start of the new fiscal year on June 1. This new year marks the launch of our FY16-18 Strategic Plan, which you can view in full here. This plan emphasizes the alignment of program priorities as well as the strengthening of NSC’s infrastructure to provide our clients with consistently high quality services.

As part of this plan, NSC is working with Message Agency on a brand new website that better reflects who we are and what do. We are excited to share with you our new logo, which more clearly represents our work in transitioning immigrants and refugees into a new life in the Philadelphia region. Stay tuned for updates on our new website, set to launch in November 2015.

new logo

This website and logo project is made possible by the support from the following funds of The Philadelphia Foundation: the Edward M. Story Memorial Fund, the Walter E. Hering Fund #2, the Henry Griffith and Anna Griffith Keasbey Fund, and the William J. McCahan 3rd Fund.


NSC Board Chair, Alicia Karr, selected as Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 under 40!

screen-shot-2015-05-19-at-70501-pmAlicia Karr, Nationalities Service Center’s Board Chair, was recently selected as one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40! Read more about Alicia and her accomplishments in the PBJ announcement HERE!

Hint: she is number 34 in the slideshow, but number 1 to us!

Congratulations, Alicia! We are so very proud of you!


Thank You for Making Global Tastes 2015 a Success!

dsc_4679More than 225 guests gathered at Reading Terminal Market on May 14 for Global Tastes 2015 to celebratePhiladelphia’s rich diversity through food and to honor those who have supported the work of Nationalities Service Center. This year, NSC honored Hernán Guaracao, Founder & CEO of AL DÍA News Media Inc., with the 2015 Nationalities Service Award for his work within the publishing community to reach Spanish-speaking immigrants. The 2015 Margaret Harris Award was presented to Ballard Spahr LLP for their extensive pro bono legal support to NSC.

screen-shot-2015-05-19-at-72235-pmGuests sampled cuisines from around the world while enjoying varied entertainment, including the XOL Azul Band and Hipnosis Tribal Belly Dancers. We especially would like to thank our sponsors, participating restaurants, and in-kind sponsors for their support of this event.

Did you miss Global Tastes this year? You can view more pictures here!

See you next year!


NSC Receives Unprecedented $1M Transformation Grant

In an historic and generous demonstration of support, an anonymous donor has confirmed a donation of $1 million to Nationalities Service Center (NSC). This is the largest single gift from an individual in NSC’s long and storied history. According to Margaret M. O’Sullivan, Executive Director of NSC, “This gift is a breathtaking expression of generosity. It demonstrates the kind of informed, strategic and authentically empathetic kind of giving that we hope will inspire others to recognize how much this organization is doing to provide a dignified response to the extraordinary challenges which face the immigrants and refugees that we are privileged to serve.” This donation is an investment in the sustainability and future of NSC, offering financial support in the areas of staff investment, debt reduction, capital improvements to the operational headquarters, and the creation of a restricted Reserve Account to shore up NSC’s financial position for the long term.