GForce Documentation

By Intermatics

Thank you for purchasing this application. If you have questions that are beyond the scope of this help file, contact us.

Before you begin installation, make sure you have a webserver that meets the following requirements:

GForce was built using Laravel 5.8

If you follow the link to the main site, you should see a screen like below:

This is the home page. It features a login form. All users use the same login forms.

GForce is designed to help you grow and manage your volunteer workforce. It is a powerfull application that enables volunteer members join departments/units and easily manage their activities, resources, communications and schedules within each department they belong to.

The application comes with 3 roles. They are:

Administrators have access to a separate Admin section where they can control the entire application. Department Administrators and Department members on the other hand, have access to the same member area. However, Department Administrators will have access to more features in the member area than ordinary Department Members. This will be covered in detail later.
Also, Administrators have the ability to log into any department from the Administration section. Once they do, they will have Department Administrator priviledges while logged into that department.

Once you login with your first Admin account, you will be directed to the admin section. You should see the following screen:

In this section, you can setup the structure and options of the application. You can also manage all users and administrators here.

The member section is where department members get to manage their activities within each department they belong to. The dashboard for the member section appears as below:

However, before a member can access this area, they need to belong to at least one department. New users get to join departments by applying.
A department can enable or disable applications to join. Also, each department can have a custom questionaire that prospective members can fill before joining.
A new member can browse through the list of available departments from the homepage and from the department list page.

Members can join a department by clicking on the 'Apply' or 'Join' buttons for each department. A department can be setup to allow members join wihtout needing approval. If this is the case, then the visible button will read 'Join'. However, if the department requires screening, then the button will read 'Apply'.

In this section, we are going to cover all the configuration options available on the application, both from the Administration area and the Membership level

Administration Settings

When logged in as an Administrator, you will see a 'Settings' menu option at the bottom of the left hand side menu (on Desktop devices)

Under this menu, there are various options:


The General settings page enables you set basic information for the entire application such as the Site's name, the email used for notifications (Site Email) etc. Some important settins here to note are


GForce supports 18 languages out of the box! On this page, you can change the entire language used in the user interface with the click of a button.
The dropdown control displays all the installed languages. If however you wish to install a language not listed in the dropdown, GForce makes that very easy to do. Do note however that this is an advanced task.
Adding a new language
GForce uses Google's translation service to automatically generate new language files. Hence whatever language you are adding must be one of the over 100 languages the Google translate service supports.
To add a new language, open the following file config/auto-translate.php

The 'target_language' array key lists all the currently installed languages using their standard two letter language codes. To add a new language, simply add a new array element to the list. Also, update the 'dict' array to include an entry for your language as a key=>value pair (code=>Name).
Once you have updated the lists, open your terminal to the root of the application. Run the following command:
php artisan autotrans:missing
This command will generate your new language files. Please make sure you have an active internet connection before you do this.
Once the command has run successfully, You will now see your new language listed as an available language.

Member Fields

GForce allows you to customize the Member Registration form. In the member Fields area, you can add new fields to the form. You can add Text,TextArea,Select,Radio and Checkbox fields. You can add as many fields as you wish.


This section enables you update the Main Site Logo and the Browser Tab icon (Favicon).

Email Settings

GForce enables you configure the way email is sent directly from the setting section. You can choose either the 'Mail' option or 'SMTP'. If you choose to use the 'Mail' option, the application will send email directly through php (or whatever method you set in your .env file if you modify it). If however you choose the SMTP option, the system will only send mail via SMTP using the credentials you supply.

SMS Settings

GForce supports sending SMS through a central SMS account. We currently support 4 SMS gateways. On the SMS Settings page, you can install and configure the gateway of your choice.


The Administrators page shows a list of all Administrator accounts on the system. You can create additional accounts here and modify existing ones.

GForce allows you to create as many departments as you wish. You can also categorise your departments. This is especially useful where you have multiple volunteer locations. You can create categories corresponding to different volunteer locations and group your departments that way. You can manage departments and their members using the 'Departments' menu option.

Creating a Department

Click on the 'Add New' menu option to create a new department. The department creation form enables you add the name and description of a department as well as set the available options for that department. You can also assign the department to categories here.

Managing Departments

To manage your existing departments, click on the 'View All' menu button. You will see the list of all your existing departments.

The 'Manage Members' button enables you view all the members of the department. You can also add new members or remove existing ones.
The 'Login' button for each department enables you sign into the department as a department admin. Note that you do not need to belong to the department in order to login once you are logged in as an Administrator.
Setting Department Administrators

On the 'Manage Members' page, you can set a member as an administrator or remove them from being administrators.
If you click on the 'Actions' button for each member, you will see various options. If the member is not an administrator of the department, you will see a 'Make Admin' option. If the member is already and Admin of the department, you will see a 'Remove Admin' option

Managing Categories
In order to create or modify your deparment categories, click on the 'Manage Categories option. Here you can easily add new categories or modify existing ones.

The member management section allows you to create and manage existing members.

Clicking on the 'Add New' option will lead to the member creation page.
Here you can define the details of the member as well as their login details. You can also optionally select the departments the member will belong to. If you add the member to a department(s), by default they will be added as ordinary department members.
Once you click 'Save', the member's account will be created. They will also recieve an email that gives them their login details.
Clicking on the 'View All' menu option will lead to the page listing all the members, department members and administrators of the application. The Actions button for each member allows you to view or edit the member while the Contact button allows you to compose an email to them or send them an sms.
The Export button enables you generate a csv file listing all the displayed members. Note that if you filter members based on departments and/or a search term, the exported CSV file will only contain members that match your filtering criteria.

Importing Members

You can import multiple new members at once into the system using the 'Import' menu option.
Clicking the option will show the following interface:

You can import members from a CSV file. The File must be formatted in a specific manager. Please click on the 'Download a sample file here' link to get a sample file you can modify.
You can also select departments that your imported members will belong to. Note that each member is identified uniquely on the system by their email addresses. So if the email address of an entry in your csv file already has a corresponding member, that entry will be skipped. However, if you select departments, the entry will be added to the department.
Once you import members, the system will send each successfully created account and email informing them that an account has been created for them. The email will also contain their login details. A random password will be generated for each member which they can change after logging in.

GForce comes with a robust internal messaging system. With GForce, users can send messages to one another. Messages are delivered via email and a local inbox.

Clicking on the 'Compose Message' option opens the message compose page

There are three options that can be used to select recipients for a message. The 'Members' option Allows you to type in a name or email address of an existing member.
You can add multiple specific membes this way. The 'Departments' tab allows you to Send messages to entire departments. Finally, the 'All Members' option enables sending of messages to all users of the system. br Attachments can also be added to messages. If an attachment is added, it will be sent in the email recieved by the recipient. It will also be availble for downloading in the local inbox of the Application.
The Inbox and Sent Messages options allow for viewing recieved and sent messages.

GForce comes with a centralized SMS messaging system. Only Administrators and Optionally Department Administrators can send messages. Department Administrators can send messages if the option to enable SMS is enabled for that department. 0nly Administrators can enable this option.
Clicking on the 'Compose Message' option brings up the form for composing a new message. The recipients for message can be selected similar to the email section mentioned above.

SMS Message Length
In the SMS settings page (Under Settings), there is an option to restrict the maximum number of pages that can make up a single sms. The system will limit the number of characters that be entered into the compose sms box based on this setting. This helps to reduce SMS costs and encourages users to manage usage.

GForce comes with a powerful rostering system. This Feature is very useful for managing volunteer activities and tasks for upcoming volunteer services and other events.
This interface is only available when a user is logged into a department.
The menu options for the roster feature appear as below:

How it works
The roster is made up of Events.Each event can have multiple shifts. Each shift can have multiple members assigned to it. And, for each shift a member is assigned to, you can specify the tasks/responsibilities the users is expected to carry out.
Viewing the Roster
Clicking on the 'View Roster' menu option displays all the upcoming events.

By default, only events that are in the future are displayed. If you wish to view past events, you can use the 'From' and 'To' date selectors to select events based on a date range.
For each Event, Clicking on the 'Info' tab displays the basic information about the event. Clicking on the 'Shifts' button however displays all the shifts for that event including the members assigned and their tasks.

Opting out
A member can choose to opt out of a particular shift. If the currently logged in user has been added to a shift of an event, the red 'Opt Out' button will appear
Clicking the button will produce a pop up that prompts the user to provide a reason for opting out.

Managing Events

Only department administrators can create or manage events and associated shifts. To create new events and manage existing ones, click on the 'Manage Events' menu option.

This pages lists all events in descending date order. Hence the most furthest event is displayed first. The list shows the name of the event, How many shifts have been created for it, to total number of members (across all shifts) that have been added to the event and the total number of opt-outs for all the shifts in the event. If opt-outs exists for an event, you will see a 'View' link under the opt-outs column. Clicking this link brings up a pop-up that displays all the members that opted out and the reasons they gave.
To create a new event, click on the 'Add New' button. You can specify the event name, Select a date, a venue and description. After you save the event, you will be directed to the page to create the first shift for the event.After that shift is created, you can add as many more as needed.

Assigning Tasks
When you create a shift, you can select members that will be added to the shift. However, to specify the tasks for each member in that shift, you need to go to the shift list page (for that event) and click on the green 'Manage Tasks' button

On this page, you can type in the tasks for each member in the Text box for each member and then click on 'Save'

Viewing your Shifts
The 'My Shifts' menu option allows a user to view all their upcoming shifts.
Users can Opt out on this page or view the event info
Shift Reminders
The system automatically sends out email reminders to members who have shifts coming up withing the next 3 days. For this feature to work however, a cron job must be configures. Please see the Setting Up Notifications section on how to set that up.

The 'Members' menu allows you to manage the members of a department. You can also view applications that prospective members have submitted and approve or deny such applications.

You can also create Teams in this section. Teams are simply groups of members within the department.This is useful in sending messages as the Messages and SMS creation pages feature a 'Teams' tab that you can use to send messages to a subset of department members.
Members can view other members in the department if the option is enabled for that department.

Member Application Form
You can configure custom questions that prospective members must answer when applying to join a department. Open the 'Settings'-'Application Form' menu option in order to do this. You can add Text, Textarea, Select, Radio and Checkbox Fields.
This interface is only available when a user is logged into a department.

The announcements feature is used to create a notice board for a department. Only department Administrators can create announcements but all members can view them. br Click on 'View All' to view all announcements. Click on 'Add new' to add a new announcement.
This interface is only available when a user is logged into a department.

GForce comes with a powerful resource sharing system. This system allows files to be securely shared among department members. Department Admins and members can upload resources. However, there is an option for each department to disable members from uploading resources if needed. Each download can contain multiple files.

Clicking on the 'View Download' page, displays all the available downloads. This page is visible to both department admins and members. It shows when a download was added, who created it, the name of the download and how many files belong to the download. Clicing on the green 'Download' button downloads all the files in a zip file. Clicking on the 'View button opens a page that displays all the individual files in the download and the description of the download.
To create a new download, click on the 'Upload Files' menu option.
The 'Manage Files' menu option leads to a page for managing the downloads of the department. If the user is a Department Admin, they will be able to manage all files for that department. If the user is only a member, they will only be able to manage files they created.
This interface is only available when a user is logged into a department.

Gforce comes with a forum feature that enables members hold discussions on specific topics.

All Department Administrators and Members can create topics. However, there is a department settings option that can prevent members from creating topics if needed. Department Administrators can delete any topic. Members can only delete topics they create.
Clicking on 'View Topics' displays all topics. Clicking on 'Create Topic' presents the form for adding a new topic and the initial thread.

Topic notifications
Whenever a topic recieves a reply, all members that have made at least one reply to that topic will recieve an email notifications. Other members will not be notified.
This interface is only available when a user is logged into a department.

It is important that you setup a cron job when you install Gforce. This will enable the application be able to send out notification to members about upcoming shifts. It also handles tasks such as removing temporary files.
To setup your cron job, add this cron command to your server
* * * * * cd /path-to-your-project && php artisan schedule:run >> /dev/null 2>&1
If however you do not have the ability to add a cron job, you can alternatively call the following url once a day:

Upgrading GForce is straighforward. First you need to backup the entire system. Next, copy the public/uploads folder to a seperate location. Also copy the .env file (in the root directory) to a safe location. Then replace the application's files with the new files you downloaded. Once you have done this, place back your .env file back to the root directory. Also copy your public/uploads directory back.
Finally, open your terminal and run the following commmand:
php artisan migrate