I've actually been talking with a friend of mine about the question of 'where's the money coming from?' She's got a better glance at the target demographic, given that many of them regard my breed as the great satan. Logically, you or I would assume that someone who donates to a patreon account is doing so out of their disposable income, and that it is rare that someone would support a comic like this without supporting other products in a similar vein. Perhaps more spendthrift people might ~just~ support this comic, odd a title as it is to choose sole patronage of. The quality seems so bad and counterproductive, it seems like there would have to be a better project to financially support.
Neither of us really know of anyone who donates through patreon to things, especially given that it doesn't come up in conversation very often. There is a parallel, though, with games: shit like Mass Effect: Andromeda, Life is Strange, and Gone Home are immensely popular among the LGBT/allies communities (not necessarily the people themselves, but the communities organized around them). There's a common trope within these games that I find to be rather striking: the writing is fairly poor, the characters are at best tropes and at worst completely unrealistic one-dimensional portrayals of people from those groups, the games feel unpolished, and the gameplay itself is mediocre. And while all of these games may have interesting concepts or touch briefly upon interesting ideas, it's not a matter of them doing some things right and wrong: if they at all appeal or pander to these communities, they lose their shit over them. Showing nuance can actually be counterproductive: I remember a little hubbub because one of the protagonists of Dreamfall: Chapters was gay, but he didn't mention it until the midway through the game, and even then only did so because it was directly relevant to something another character asked him. A small sect of people were in fact mad that he didn't within the first four seconds walk up to a guy and say STICK IT UP MY BUTT. LiS presents questions of sexuality in such a dumb manner, too, because the whole story's just a stupid high school drama - yet people slurped it up. She tells me that it's not uncommon for that to happen in prettymuch any medium - the dumb, pandering, simplified approach catches on with people who are young and fall into those groups, even if older LGBT people might find the modern representation to be distasteful or opportunistic.
Having established that quality isn't really a concern to people so much as pandering is - and pandering that catches on within thought-leaders in communities is amplified even more, since most of these peoples' only social interactions occur within those circles - I have a good idea of where the numbers come from. But where's the money come from? There's a good number of people in profitable tech firms and businesses that make a high enough income and sympathize with/belong to those causes to toss some dosh down, so it could just be a few very high patron outliers pumping up the average. Yet if that were true, for a size of 1,336 those outliers would need to be absurd to tug the average up to there. It's easy to think, then, that it's a bunch of people spending mommy and daddy's money irresponsibly, since that's a stereotype strongly associated with the progressive movement. Perhaps that's true for a section of them, too - particularly the people closer to the top of these community structures, who abuse their inherited capital to elbow their way up the totem pole. Yet for most people... what my friend has told me of their spending habits, it's just a whole bunch of people who earn shit for income, live at home, spend their limited disposable income irresponsibly, and have developed a learned helplessness that excuses their behavior and lack of progress. It's admittedly anecdotal, in that she's describing only people that she knows. I've seen this sort of behavior replicated, though, across all sorts of communities that are nominally welcoming to LGBT/Ally-community people: MMOs, RPGs, card games, roleplaying communities, fetish communities, etc. A lot of people are just fucking bad with money and blow it on commissions, patreons, overpriced merch, etc. and then bemoan how their savings is nonexistent or that they're dependent themselves on the help of others to get by. Rarely, though, do people spend enough to actually collapse themselves - just enough to stay stuck in place and believe that it's someone else's fault for why they can't get anywhere. Consider that 1 in 4 people under 30 in the US live with their parents, and this figure also doesn't consider people currently enrolled in university that will go on to live with their parents. SORRY that has gone up since I last checked; it's something like 1 in fucking 3 who are within the 'millennial' age group, so between 18-34 years of age loosely. Sure seems like a group that would be able to throw away more of its income that you or I would need to set aside to rent, food, or loan payments, eh?
tl;dr: it seems like the patreon-funding and e-begging habitation isn't going to end anytime soon, not so long as there exist a multitude of ways for people to spend irresponsibly and not deal with the consequences of it. There's a fucking giant market to exploit, and it's a part of the culture to... be exploited by the culture. It's fucking weird, I know: the cost of membership is very often being taken advantage of and then blaming someone else.