I was actually thinking of finding a way of having "sponsoring" be a way to disable ads for that member. Currently, the amount of money coming from sponsoring is pretty minimal (maybe $15/mo). But, it would be worth having it detect a person's login, see they're a sponsor, and just disable loading any ads.
Again... an idea in the works... it MIGHT be something I could start working on as I work on migrating to the newer software (where I have to work in the templates for the site anyway). No promises right away, but I think that would help people like you who don't mind pitching in a few bucks month in exchange for having ads disabled. Originally sponsoring was setup just because members really wanted a way to directly contribute. That's why I set it up with small amounts like that.