The contribution couldn't have come at a better time, Fischer said, but he offered few clues about the donors.
There were "several" who have "ties to the district" and who "are aware of what is happening in the district," Fischer said.
The donors' anonymity is a condition of the gift.
Fischer's decision to seek donations for the public school district is a practice that has become increasingly popular, said Jim Collogan, executive director of the National School Foundation Association.
"We're not surprised when it happens at the college and university level," Collogan said. "There are 13 years of energy poured into a child in the average school district and that's a lot of time and energy compared to the two to five years they spend in college."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million donation to the Newark (N.J.) School District in 2010 is an exceptional example, Collogan said.
Fischer began soliciting for donations and additional sources of funding last April and continued through the end of the year.
The district had not been able to update its technology or media centers. Cuts were made in science, curriculum, and professional development.
The district's finances are complicated by Oxford Area's status as a mostly rural district with a small commercial and industrial tax base. Most of the tax burden falls on a community that has a high percentage of lower-income families and English language learners.
The district includes Oxford Borough and Upper and Lower Oxford, East and West Nottingham, and Elk Townships.
Between 2004 and 2008, the school tax rate increased 34 percent. The district used much of the funding to facilitate the construction of a new high school and renovation of other buildings. Since then, the school board has sought to hold the line on taxes.
Fischer expects to use the funding to update the district's computers and libraries, restore cuts to science programming, and continue summer arts and music courses.
Charice Russell, president of the district's parent-teacher organization, said he was happy about the news.
"I'm excited because it says to me that there are other people in the community who are trying to do what we're doing," Russell said.
The parent-teacher group regularly holds fund-raisers to donate money to the schools for items such as art and music supplies.
"We're thrilled that this will help our students," Russell said, "and give them what they deserve."
Contact staff writer Kristin E. Holmes at 610-313-8211 or firstname.lastname@example.org.