There are several aspects of it.
1) It is less of a tax law issue. It is your NM trust's Board's Decision. If they are unwilling to participate in the pre-arrangement for the donation to avoid the construction receipt issue, there is nothing you can do about it. The money is transferred from them to the other organization. If they are not willing to do it, there is no deal.
2) In terms of tax issue, there is a simple issue that there is unpaid payroll taxes. The money is to reimburse one's labor, work. It also depends on the amount and frequency. For an occasional, incidental payment, like speech engagement once a while, it may not be an issue. The speech fee often can be interpreted as a honorable, speech fee gift and not really hourly fees for labor.
3) The team of expert you met before may not have dealt with the payroll tax issue. They could be conducting an income tax examination. Or they were dealing with a smaller amount. They could have looked at your tax return and felt that the first page adding and the Schedule A deduction of donation will have the same income tax result. We cannot speak for them.
These discussions just to bounce ideas with you. Please feel free to follow up.
Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP