Ivan Holness, 79, a retired employe of the World Bank who was active in raising funds for educational purposes, died Wednesday at his Washington home. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Holness was born in Jamaica, the West Indies. He lived in New York City and worked for the New York Central Railroad there before moving to Washington 47 years ago.

He joined the federal government in 1933 and worked for the Interior and Treasury departments for about 12 years. During that time, he was assigned as a special aide at the White House for a number of years.

Mr. Holness transferred to the World Bank in about 1945 and was a mail clerk there when he retired in 1964.

He was a golfer and helped raise funds for the Lee Elder Scholarship Foundation. He also served as co-sponsor of a fundraising group for the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation Inc., located on the campus of the Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla. The foundation provides scholarship money for students at the college.

Mr. Holness also was active in the 1818 Society of the World Bank and was a member of the Fort Dupont Civic Association.

Survivors include his wife, Wilma, of Washington; a brother, Maxwell, of Jamaica, and a granddaughter. A son, Sidney, died.